‘Thebeyond’ in Glasgow to be centre of smart things hub 

Partnership between UK government, Glasgow City Council and Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC) aims to make city Europe’s largest smart things and IoT innovation hub. 

A new 250-desk, state of the art facility at the SkyPark in Finnieston, Glasgow, is at the centre of plans to make the UK’s third largest city a forerunner in the predominant tech of the next few decades. It’s hoped that some 100 innovative tech companies will have made their home in ‘thebeyond’ by the end of 2024.

blue red and yellow glass building

SSE Hydro building in Glasgow, photo by Carina M

Thebeyond is the result of £2.5m investment from both public and private sector, building on the achievements to date of STAC, which was launched in 2021 to help Glasgow lead home-grown innovation. The initiative is supported by industry executives who between them have decades of experience and come from leading organisations including Blackberry, Dyson, Meta, Motorola, Plexus and Volvo Cars. 

The team behind the initiative hope to see the companies housed in thebeyond working to develop tech across a whole range of sectors – health, industry, lifestyle and sustainability. They also cite the kinds of tech to be explored: AI, drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and robots, cleantech, medtech and nanotech.  

This may all sound wildly futuristic but in many cases we already work with such technology or even have it in our homes. For example, IoT refers to physical objects such as ‘smart home’ tech like thermostats, lighting and security systems that are connected to and share data over networks.  

Glasgow-based tech companies are already winning UK and international market share. These include Beingar, iOpt and Utopi in proptech, Krucial in space and satellite tech, Novosound in ultrasound technology, and Kingdom Technology in robotics.

Paul Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder of STAC, says: ‘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.’ 

Jim Rowan, CEO of Volvo Cars and STAC advisory member, adds: ‘We have the talent and innovation from our universities, now we are boosting entrepreneurship and increasing the ambition to position Glasgow as a leader in the development and application of key future technologies that will allow it to compete on the global stage.’ 

Sean Murphy, VP of Global Supply Chain at Meta and STAC advisory member, says: ‘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.’ 

Cllr Ricky Bell, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, adds: ‘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.’ 

In related news:

Plan for open access wifi network across London

Cyber-security project for UK organisations 

Detailed plan for £17.5m tech workspace in Manchester


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