Glasgow City Council and the Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC) aim to position the city as one of Europe’s leading locations for IoT innovation through the launch of a new hub.
The public-private partnership, underpinned by £2.5 million in funding, will support the launch of a 250-desk facility named "thebeyond" at SkyPark, Finnieston.
The cash includes £257,000 of government grant funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Research into drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, IoT, nanotech, and cleantech will be conducted at the site once completed, and up to 100 companies are expected to be up and running by the end of 2024.
The initiative is supported by industry executives from leading organisations including Dyson, Plexus, Meta, Blackberry, Motorola, and Volvo Cars.
Paul Wilson, CEO, and co-founder of STAC said the new innovation hub will help foster innovation across a variety of fields and position Glasgow as one of the leading cities for smart things innovation.
"Glasgow can be a powerhouse in the key technologies that will enhance life and industry for the next decades," he said.
"As we build the leading tech cluster around STAC's thebeyond we will gain a reputation and attract international investment. That's the goal, ambitious and realisable. We believe thebeyond will be Europe's largest smart things and IoT space."
Empower your business and stay ahead of potential threats
Ricky Bell, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, echoed Wilson’s comments, underlining the huge potential of Glasgow’s burgeoning tech sector and its ability to compete on an international scale.
"This collaboration will help Glasgow become a leading technology-driven city, with our services and buildings powered by homegrown innovation to the benefit of everyone who lives, works and studies here," he said.
"We will empower Glasgow’s startups to hone their technologies here and then compete internationally, enhancing our position on the global tech stage and bringing a great number of new jobs and careers in this sector."
Glasgow tech infrastructure efforts
Glasgow already has three 'innovation districts': Glasgow City Innovation District (GCID), Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID) and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMIDS).
Each of these provides tech startups and enterprises access to a range of accelerator programmes aimed at supporting innovation, product and talent development, and revenue growth.
Meanwhile, Glasgow City Council recently gave permission for Bruntwood Sci Tech to revamp the city's Met Tower to create a large-scale dedicated digital and tech hub.
The £60 million project will provide over 200,000 sq ft of space for the city’s startups, scaleups and larger businesses, with specialist support from Bruntwood SciTech’s innovation services team.
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Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.