Launching Europe’s Largest Smart Things Hub

4th Jan 2024

Gregor Aikman from Filament, Cllr Ricky Bell, and Paul Wilson from STAC at thebeyond in SkyPark.

A partnership between the UK Government, Glasgow City Council, and the Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC) has been launched - with significant government investment - to transform Glasgow into Europe's largest smart things and IoT innovation hub.   

The partnership will centre around a £2.5 million public and private sector investment into a 250-desk state-of-the-art facility named "thebeyond" at SkyPark, in Glasgow's Finnieston neighbourhood. 

The partnership believes Glasgow can become a frontrunner in the predominant technologies over the next decades spanning drones, robots, AI, IoT, nanotech, medtech, and cleantech, revolutionising industries while yielding substantial economic, social, and environmental impact.  

Building on STAC's success to date, projections are for Glasgow to evolve into an innovation leader with a focus on industrial, lifestyle, health, and sustainability technologies, with a view to as many as 100 companies being up and running by the end of 2024. Through the partnership, Glasgow City Council and the city, the third largest city in the UK, will become a test bed for homegrown innovations via STAC, which was launched in 2021.   

The initiative is supported by industry executives with decades of experience from leading organisations including Dyson, Plexus, Meta, Blackberry, Motorola, and Volvo Cars.  

Paul Wilson, CEO, and co-founder of STAC, and driving force behind the partnership, said: "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.

"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," said Volvo Cars CEO and STAC Advisory member Jim Rowan. 

"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," said Sean Murphy VP, Global Supply Chain at Meta and STAC Advisory member.

Councillor Ricky Bell, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "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."

Glasgow is building momentum in Smart Things with a number of technology companies already winning UK and international market share – including Utopi, Beingar and iOpt in proptech, Krucial in space and satellite tech, Novosound in ultrasound technology, and Kingdom Technology in robotics.