Scottish cities hope to find big bucks to become smarter

The Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA) has revealed it brought £100 million ($122 million) into the country’s economy over the last 18 months, through promotion of Scotland’s economic potential to foreign investors.

It aims to promote £7.5 billion ($9.1 billion) of investment opportunities in the next year, focusing on low-carbon, hydrogen, and smart city programs in Scotland’s major cities.

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“We believe that by attracting investment to Scotland’s cities, using smart cities, hydrogen and low carbon programs, we will make the cities some of the most desirable and sustainable places to live and work in the world,” said councillor Andrew Burns, chair of the SCA.

The SCA revealed earlier in December that smart city programs adopted by Scotland’s seven major cities will use technologies to make services more efficient. This includes LED street lighting, Wi-Fi connected trash bins, and healthcare provisions.

Glasgow network a new smart city sandbox

A consortium of communications firms announced in July plans to create a large Internet of Things (IoT) network in Glasgow, one of the first major signs that Scotland could be a place for tech firms to test and deploy emerging technologies.

Scotland has been thrown into turmoil by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, with some investors worried that the country will lose access to the single market. The Scottish National Party has pushed Westminster to fight for a deal that includes single market access, and has warned that losing this may result in a second referendum.

That panic does not appear to be hitting the tech scene, although as formal negotiations start, Scotland might start to feel the pinch. The SCA did not comment on Brexit and the implications it may have on tech investment in Scotland.

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