Glasgow is on a mission to become Europe’s largest Smart Things and IoT Hub

A partnership is formed around a £2.5M public and private sector investment into a co-working and lab space in Glasgow.
Glasgow is on a mission to become Europe’s largest Smart Things and IoT Hub

This month sees the launch of a partnership between the UK Government, Glasgow City Council, and the Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC), which aims to make Glasgow into Europe’s largest smart things and IoT innovation hub.

The partnership will centre around a £2.5 million private and public sector investment into a 250-desk state-of-the-art facility named “the beyond” at SkyPark, Finnieston in Glasgow.

The investment includes £257,000 of grant funding from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

I spoke to Paul Wilson, CEO and co-founder of STAC, to find out more. 

With a background in mobile computing, IoT smartphones, smart home, and industrial IoT, he’s the perfect person to lead the next generation of IoT founders. 

While working in Canada, he was exposed to how public-private partnerships could create an ecosystem where startups could evolve into successful businesses and even unicorns, and upon returning to Scotland, he saw no reason why the same couldn’t happen elsewhere. 

“We have a fantastic education system in Scotland. We were clearly developing talent that could be exported successfully and at the individual level.

So then I started to explore how we are doing in entrepreneurship and how we are turning entrepreneurs into competitors of companies internationally? And that’s where the gap was.

How do you shape innovation, and how do you make your design competitive? How do you develop your supply chain that you can manufacture competitively?

We had innovation, we had talent. We were developing IP, and we were starting companies. But we were not building the momentum I saw in Canada, starting companies, and making them ready to succeed internationally."

It’s a delicate balance. North America is the holy grail for European companies and UK companies. But with every export, we’re also losing local talent and local innovation, meaning that if local regions aren’t benefiting from these solutions, they are losing their competitive advantage.

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, launched in 2021.

Besides the valuable funding, the partnership is part of a broader perspective that drives success. 

“We start to look at the City of Glasgow and their scope in everything from city management to the social housing, social care, and health service and everything in their sphere of service scope. How do we develop homegrown innovation and feed that market?

If we provide that market, you hone your skills and easily create revenue.

You get quality market validation and feedback to continue to own your company and products, and develop your skills. It puts you in a really good place to go and take that internationally. "

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

Wilson notes: 

"This gives us access to incredible market intelligence and a market network."

STAC has now had three cohorts in their program and supports 36 startups, 

The next phase is to create a bigger physical space that includes coworking, industrial labs, maker spaces, event spaces, etc. 

STAC has just launched an investment platform and will be opening its own investment arm in mid-2024. 

It’s also developing partnerships with giant industry leaders in industrial tech and manufacturing sectors where “we can develop technologies through our mentorship program to field tier one tech sector with innovation from Scotland.”

“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.”

Glasgow IoT companies to watch:


Nebu~Flow (registered as Acu-Flow Limited) is an innovative medical device company developing the next generation of nebulisers to enable efficient delivery of hard-to-nebulise drugs to the lungs, including both existing formulations and emerging novel high-value therapeutics such as biologics, nanomedicines, and vaccines.

Many of these latter drugs are potentially life-changing formulations with no available method for direct delivery to the lung and, therefore, currently have significantly reduced clinical utility.

Nebu~Flow is collaborating with world-renowned specialists to develop its unique nebuliser to deliver fragile and hard-to-nebulise drugs, including formulations containing suspensions, surface active, and biologically active compounds.


Image: Weeteq.

Weeteq is a ‘tiny’ embedded technology company developing circuit-level artificial intelligence solutions to accelerate the sustainable growth of smart technologies. 

Instead of deploying sensors to observe the status of machines, weeteq technology accesses existing operational data, previously thought not feasible, directly from the circuits of devices.

Ultra Edge® goes beyond edge computing, performing real-time analysis from within the circuit itself – identifying anomalies before they appear in sensor data, whilst providing the asset's unsupervised, immediate performance improvement.


Image: Utopi.

Utopi uses simple, low-cost IoT tech to collect, analyse, and report real-time ESG data in multi-tenant residences. Residents are engaged via an app that engages tenants through gamified sustainability targets. 


Krucial uses space technology to help businesses achieve resilient, reliable, and continuous connectivity. Its tech combines cutting-edge satellite communications and cellular technology with the best IoT.

It can be deployed in the most rugged environments for long periods, minimising downtime and data loss, even across your most remote, hard-to-reach locations and data sources. Use cases include energy, rail, agriculture, and aquaculture. 

 Kingdom Technologies

Image: Kingdom Technologies.

 Kingdom Technologies develops robotic lawnmowers for large terrains. Targeting business clients, such as golf clubs, outdoor sports complexes, and city councils. 

Traditionally, robotic lawnmowers move around the lawn using a random movement pattern. This makes them inefficient and unable to cover large areas. Kingdom’s robot uses a human-like movement pattern, covering each patch of grass only once. Robots cover around 10 times bigger areas (roughly 70,000 m² per week) compared to the other robots on the market.

Lead image: (Left to right) Gregor Aikman, STAC; Ricky Bell, Glasgow City Council; and Paul Wilson, STAC: Photo: Stewart Attwood. 

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