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Welcome to Tech Embers

The Market Square for Scotland’s Tech Ecosystem

Supported by the Scottish Government Ecosystem Fund in connection with the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER)

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Tech Embers aims to establish a nationwide market square of self-sustaining tech communities.

Using our digital platform and support from the Scottish Government Ecosystem Fund, we want to empower change-makers with the tools they need to inspire action, unite communities, and discover new possibilities.

Seeding Tech Event Activity Across Scotland

The project involves identifying passionate individuals who are actively engaged in providing geographically remote or socially isolated Scottish communities with better access to the technology space.

We're calling these individuals 'Embers' — small glows of energy that represent proactive change.

Diversifying Scotland’s Tech Ecosystem

As is the case with most countries across the globe, Scotland’s provision of tech activity is overwhelmingly focused around large urban areas.

Specifically, research from Scotland Can Do shows that a small number of ‘hotspots’ within Scotland’s central belt are home to the vast majority of innovation centres, tech incubators, accelerators, and ​​entrepreneurial support organisations that are critical to initiating and sustaining tech activity.

Tech Embers isn’t about diluting these hotspots but rather about identifying the ‘Embers’ or small glows of energy that can add to the wider tech ecosystem and provide a more accessible and distributed web of hotspots.

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How it works

Step 1: Identify the Embers

We’re searching far and wide across three Scottish development agencies (Highlands & Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, and Scottish Enterprise) to identify passionate individuals who are actively engaged in improving tech activity in their community.

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Step 2: Provide the Kindling

We see Community Lab’s digital platform and the support from the Scottish Government Ecosystem Fund as the 'kindling' that can help to turn these embers into a network of larger fires. We’re providing Embers with the tools, networks and resources they need to deliver a chain of successful tech-related events.

This could be anything from a coding club for P7 kids in the Outer Hebrides to a monthly meetup for Berwickshire farmers to embrace Agritech.

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Step 3: Fan the Fire

Our research shows that one of the biggest challenges of organising events and building sustainable communities involves reducing the weight placed on a single individual’s shoulders. Following these initial events, we will work closely with the Embers to identify and support key stakeholders who can help realise the long-term vision.

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Step 4: Sustain the Blaze

Tech Embers is designed to tackle the nascent stages of a long-term challenge. Over the next six months, the project will trigger a chain reaction of community events across geographically remote and socially isolated pockets of Scotland.

However, the long-term vision involves drawing connections between these hotspots and evolving Community Lab’s digital platform to provide a vibrant market square that connects individuals and communities of all shapes and sizes to a world-leading tech ecosystem.

As revealed in Glimmers’ investigation into the relationship between technology and civil society, building sustainable tech ecosystems involves reducing infrastructural reliance on big tech solutions and instead, developing value-driven platforms that empower mission-led organisations.

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Are you passionate about supporting Scotland’s tech ecosystem in rural and underserved communities?

Join our thriving digital ecosystem to meet some new faces, reconnect with familiar faces, discover a wide range of social impact initiatives, explore funding opportunities, and support peers in their quest to build a connected Scotland.

Meet the Embers

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