A partnership between the UK Government, Glasgow City Council, and the Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC), including significant government investment, has been launched with the aim of transforming Glasgow into Europe’s largest smart things and Internet of Things (IoT) innovation hub.
Centring around new a 250-desk facility at SkyPark, Finnieston in Glasgow named “thebeyond”, the £2.5m private and public sector investment includes £257,000 of grant funding from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The partnership aims to make Glasgow a frontrunner the predominant technologies over the next decades spanning drones, robots, AI, IoT, nanotech, medtech, and cleantech, in a bit to revolutionise industries while yielding substantial economic, social, and environmental impact.
Paul Wilson, CEO and co-founder of STAC, and driving force behind the partnership, said: “Glasgow can be a powerhouse in the key technologies that will enhance life and industry for the next decades. 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.”
“Glasgow has all the elements – talent, innovation, and a collaborative spirit – needed to lead in what is known as the ‘Era of Things’. We believe we are on the cusp of something extraordinary. From thebeyond tech companies will develop tomorrow’s technologies to compete in global markets.”
Building on STAC’s work to date, projections are for Glasgow to evolve into an innovation leader with a focus on industrial, lifestyle, health, and sustainability technologies, with a view to as many as 100 companies being up and running by the end of 2024.
Through the partnership, Glasgow City Council and the city, the third largest city in the UK, is set become a test bed for homegrown innovations via STAC, which was launched in 2021.
The initiative is supported by industry executives from leading organisations including Dyson, Plexus, Meta, Blackberry, Motorola, and Volvo Cars.
“Technology innovation being driven through STAC’s accelerator programme can provide companies like Meta a vital source of first of kind technologies that will change how people live, communicate, and play in future. That’s the play here at thebeyond”, said Sean Murphy VP, global supply chain at Meta and STAC advisory member.
Councillor Ricky Bell, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “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. We will empower Glasgow’s start-ups 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 is building momentum in Smart Things with a number of technology companies already winning UK and international market share – including Utopi, Beringar, and IOpt in proptech, Krucial in space and satellite tech, Novosound in ultrasound technology, and Kingdom Technology in robotics.