Smart Accelerator partners and consultants 

In addition to the core team at ECCI which comprised Project Manager Jackie Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager Siobhan Dunn and Admistrator Sarah Thomas, the Smart Accelerator utilised a number of expert consultants to fulfil the deliverables of the project. Dr Martin Smith of St Andrews University provided expert consultancy and support for the Sustainable Islands projects. 

Extended consultancy team

Expert consultancy enabled the Smart Accelerator partnership to fulfill its objectives in three areas: academic support, SME support and international exemplars

The Smart accelerator project was an 18-Month, ERDF funded partnership supported by a number of agencies and governing bodies including Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Cities Alliance and the University of Edinburgh.

Consultancy played an important role in the project by providing expert advice and know how in specific areas. Three briefs were issued to appoint an organisation and/or individuals to enable the Smart Accelerator to achieve the objectives of the programme - to offer excellent and expert advice and consultancy to key projects in the following areas.

Academic support

Mark Deakin and Alasdair Reid from Edinburgh Napier University was responsible for discovering and helping projects apply academic best practice.

Smart Accelerator project teams were required to integrate Scottish academics with the relevant expertise, research and delivery capability. Primarily Scottish academic expertise was sought, however examples of best practice from the UK, Europe and globally were also of interest where appropriate - for example where limited experience was found within Scotland of a specific topic. This informed and supported the development of the priority initiatives. This brief requested invitations for quotations to help the ECCI team and project partners in the identification, interrogation and selection of appropriate Academic Expertise required to support the Smart Accelerator initiatives.

The type and depth of experience possessed by individuals as well as centres and how this experience could add value into one or several of the prioritized smart accelerator projects was key.


International exemplars and site visits

Stefan Buettner, Senior Policy Advisor IPEEC (International Partnership for Energy Efficiency), (and former Senior Parliamentary Advisor & Researcher at the Scottish Parliament) was responsible for discovering international best practice across relevant fields.

The Smart Accelerator actively sought international experience and expertise in the form of good and poor practices to inform and support the development of priority Scottish initiatives and assist Accelerator projects in the development of their own projects and products.

The Smart Accelerator funded and organised site visits and exchanges enabling two-way knowledge exchange between projects and communities of identified relevant interest. Projects visited and met with projects and initiatives in Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and the Danish islands of Samsoe and Bornholm. And a report covering international good practice and key examples was produced for reference. This report can be accessed here 

SME community engagement

Dr Jelte Harnmeijer and Vijay Bhopal of Scene Consulting were responsible for the SME segment of the Smart Accelerator.

The smart accelerator ensured that projects engaged with Scottish SMEs by:

• Gathering project ideas from SMEs and adding them to the long list for evaluation 

• Identifying and involving SMEs once the short list of projects was selected by informing and integrating key decision makers regarding the project priorities, the formation of a broader ‘community of practice’ around the project across the full project life-cycle

ECCI and the Smart Accelerator actively engaged with Scottish SMEs and worked to compile a database of contacts who were interested in assisting with Smart Accelerator projects.

Our consultants in this area helped with the identification of relevant low carbon Scottish SMEs. The Smart Accelerator funded and integrated SMEs into chosen projects and worked to create Communities of Interest, clustering SMEs with similar expertise and target markets to encourage collaboration, foster innovation and provide structured support and information. Scene produced an extensive survey of Scottish SME's with potential for collaboration with each Smart Accelerator project. Individual projects received tailored consultation on their own needs and the possibilities of linking related SMEs at key stages of the project. You can download this report here

Partnership working

The Smart Accelerator partnership was supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Cities Alliance and the University of Edinburgh among others.

The partnership was instrumental from the beginning in supporting the collection and assessment of potential projects. A steering group for both the smart city and the sustainable islands projects was set up out of the partnership and worked to prioritise the long list of preferred projects between February and May 2014. Following the selection of the final, successful projects the partnership provided the necessary staff resources and 'know how' to work with individual project teams and accelerate their proposals to the point where they are independently investable. The steering group met regularly over the 18 month project lifecycle and were kept updated by the Smart Accelerator team with regular project reports and project management updates.

More about the process of evaluation and selection can be found here.

Smart Accelerator Partners

The Smart Accelerator was a flagship project representing a wide consortium of major Scottish funders. These were Scottish EnterpriseTransport ScotlandHighlands & Islands EnterpriseScottish Cities Alliance, the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Government and of course the European Regional Development Fund. The Smart Accelerator represents the first project of this kind in Scotland to coordinate a consortium approach to fund and support large-scale low carbon projects in partnership with major public bodies.

More about the Smart Accelerator

The Smart Accelerator aimed to accelerate the development and acceleration of major smart city and sustainable island projects in Scotland, based on international good practice and geared towards integrating SMEs and academic expertise to maximise sustainable local economic development.

This 18-month, ERDF funded programme was a collaborative project involving multiple public sector agencies and city authorities across Scotland including the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Cities Alliance, Transport Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh. 

Find out more about the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation