Beaver burrows, cycling, and nurseries among CivTech winners

DETECTING beaver burrows, promoting cycle routes, and securing nursery places are just some of the tasks being solved with technology under the latest “CivTech” challenge.

The civic technology or “CivTech” competition is run by the Scottish Government to help find solutions for challenges set by public sector bodies and charities.

NatureScot, the agency known formerly as Scottish Natural Heritage, asked: “How can technology help us detect beaver burrows and assess the associated risk to public and private interests?”

JBA Consulting and Storm Geomatics were chosen to “collect underwater geospatial data, which will be used to both reliably detect potentially problematic burrows and assess the risk the burrow presents to infrastructure and people”.

South of Scotland Enterprise and Censis – Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging, and the “internet of things” (IoT) – laid down a challenge around “how can technology unlock the power of the bike, stimulating demand for cycling infrastructure and support South of Scotland communities?”

Sweco UK was selected to “develop an online support toolkit that will combine digital route design, three-dimensiona (3D) visuals, and smart analysis to challenge the status quo of path construction by exploring the reuse of recycled materials, leveraging the opportunities in circular economy”.

West Lothian Council posed the question: “How can technology aid parents through the admissions process for an ever-changing statutory entitlement to early learning and childcare?”

GearedApp was pick to develop “a solution to drastically reduce the amount of administrative work when it comes to processing nursery applications”.

Other projects covered in the seventh round of the CivTech competition included matching British Sign Language (BSL) users to interpreters, and using artificial intelligence to help disabled people access public services.

In total, 14 teams will now receive support and funding to complete the challenges.

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, don’t miss Keith Kingland’s Arctic tern article in the October’s luxury issue of Scottish Field magazine.