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Smart Accelerator

Between 2013 and 2015, ECCI’s £1.2 million Smart Accelerator project offered intensive early support to 14 Scottish ‘smart partnerships’.

We helped them get investment-ready through advice, practical support and sharing international good practice.

Smart Accelerator logo

Supported by ERDF, Smart Accelerator identified and helped develop eight smart city, three sustainable island and three smart mobility projects. The aim was to create strong, effective partnerships and speed up Scotland’s transition to a low carbon society.

We worked with projects at their earliest stages, covering everything from management to marketing and communications. Through Smart Accelerator, we were also able to offer participants access to:

  • industry, academic and international expertise
  • business, commercial and technological know-how
  • SME networking and partnerships opportunities

How we made it happen

To deliver Smart Accelerator we created a framework for 'smart' city region and sustainable island projects in Scotland. We did this by:

  • combining resources across projects to create economies of scale
  • stimulating international knowledge exchange and competitiveness
  • engaging and partnering with innovative SMEs
  • using the Scottish research base to support competitive ideas
  • coordinating multiple public sector agency support

We also helped push projects to the next level by:

  • developing innovative pathways for idea creation and support
  • giving them the extra resources needed to drive projects forward
  • making new financing options available to projects
  • building inventive partnerships and business models
“The Smart Accelerator partnership assessed and prioritised projects while challenging the business sector to offer new, ground-breaking ideas and projects. Selected projects were at the intersection of mobility, energy and the use of proven technology. All to enable smarter, more sustainable cities, communities and islands.” ECCI Deputy Director, Ed Craig

What was achieved

A key outcome of Smart Accelerator was to have good practice, pioneering projects, focused on collaborative business models, not technology. The project created a broad ecosystem of service providers and knowledge-sharing to reap benefits for Scottish cities and regions.

How Smart Accelerator supported SMEs:

  • We gathered and included project ideas from SMEs on the long list for evaluation.
  • We involved SMEs with selected projects by: paying for their expertise and knowledge to move projects forward; using SME products within the proposed supply chain.
  • We created networks of opportunity for sharing expertise and knowledge within Scottish SMEs.
  • We made sure that project planning had access to Scottish expertise, products and services from the start.

Low Carbon Innovation

ECCI's Low Carbon Innovation (LCI) project, also funded by the ERDF, supported Scottish SMEs to create new low carbon products and services. Since its launch, it’s estimated to have increased business turnover by £15 million and created almost 70 new jobs.