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Innovation fund to support communities

This news post is almost 6 years old

Charities and social enterprises are being invited to apply to new fund which aims to help create a fairer Scotland

A fund to fuel innovation in Scotland has been created.

Social entrepreneurs and innovators are being invited to apply for grants up to £33,000 to support projects which use online sharing technology to deliver clean energy and transport, and support vulnerable consumers and disadvantaged communities.

The £172,000 ShareLab Scotland scheme will be run by Nesta, a UK innovation foundation. It will help identify and support projects that use online matching to help individuals and communities make better use of local resources, and that will help to create a fairer Scotland.

Individuals, social enterprises, charities and community groups are invited to apply for the grants, which will be awarded by a panel of experts from the Scottish Government and Nesta later this year.

Announcing ShareLab Scotland at Nesta’s FutureFest event in London, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that innovation is key to Scotland’s economy.

“The Scottish Government believe that innovation is central to our future, and in recent years I have made promoting innovation a major focus of our economic policy,” she said.

“However, governments have to ensure that our social policies respond to the technological and economic changes that we promote. We can’t just promote innovation in our economic policy - we also have to adopt innovation in our social policies.

“The collaborative economy brings together individuals and communities in new and innovative ways. There is huge opportunity for Scotland in this area, particularly given some of our geographic challenges and the potential benefits it can bring for tourism and transport in more remote areas.”

Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, said: “Digital platforms have transformed how we shop and travel, creating vast global companies along the way. We believe that similar technologies can help deal with many of our social challenges too, and with this fund - a partnership with the Scottish Government - we hope to find great examples that can also be more controlled by local communities.

“Over the next few months Nesta’s ShareLab Scotland wants to hear from communities, start-ups and innovators of all kinds with exciting ideas about how to use collaborative digital platforms to address social needs.”



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Peter Dow
almost 6 years ago
Yet talented innovators will be UNABLE to innovate if bad management of Scottish universities and research institutions fear and crush the academic freedom and civil liberties which innovators need to thrive, if bad management excludes innovators deemed to be "disruptive" because innovators have dared to interrupt, to challenge the old guard, to offer an alternative and innovative solution.Management, their police and their lawyers should butt out. Oppressive management is the enemy of innovation. Managers need to be put in their place, by innovators and by those who would really wish to help innovators innovate.What help can innovators in Scotland expect from Nicola Sturgeon's government?Sadly, none. Under Sturgeon and her predecessor, Salmond, Police Scotland have been on a hair trigger to raid and arrest innovators anywhere in Scotland on any pretext - a word or a tweet in anger, or a flirtatious remark, for example - to seize and to keep for years computer data and equipment which is critical to the delicate process of innovation, obstructing progress in the most intrusive way imaginable.The Scottish government's prosecutors, mismanaged by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have been all too willing to prosecute innovators on false charges.Far from "helping", the irresponsible SNP government has hindered innovation and stunted growth in the Scottish economy by allowing the police and courts to run amok.If Scots are to be allowed to grow the Scottish economy it is essential that a new and responsible Scottish government brings the heavy-handed, blundering officers of their police and courts to heel and requires them, so to speak, to lift their jackboots from the throats of Scottish innovators.
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Peter Dow
almost 6 years ago
£172,000 is insignificant compared with the £3,000,000,000 Scottish government budgets every year on Education and Lifelong Learning and almost the same again on Justice and the Crown Office to make sure none of the education budget is spent on innovative ideas - innovators found trespassing on universities or research institutions to be arrested and banned from the education premises and the £12,000,000,000 on the Health and Well-being budget to lock up innovators in a secure mental hospital wards.Innovators in Scotland really don't stand a chance when billions of pounds are spent on the authoritarian old guard whose sole purpose in life seems to be to exterminate innovation from every aspect of Scottish public life.
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