Technology Scotland in partnership with the Higgs Centre for Innovation, is currently exploring ways to further highlight the role of photonics in the space sector, with particular emphasis on supporting members to realise potential opportunities, removing some of the stigmas surrounding barriers to the space sector, signposting towards relevant funding and nurturing a community to help build an ecosystem for the space sector within Scotland.
Technology Scotland, in partnership with Fraunhofer UK, has launched a Special Interest Group (SIG) for companies operating in the quantum technology sector in Scotland, with particular emphasis on building an ecosystem for the community and ensuring Scotland’s interest and needs are represented within the wider UK.
The discussions surrounding the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) often focus on technical challenges and viable business models, but they frequently overlook the crucial factor of user adoption, which ultimately determines its success. To fully realize the potential benefits of MaaS and drive positive change, it is vital to ensure that users and other stakeholders are actively involved and ready to embrace the emerging solutions in both urban and rural areas. This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of stakeholders’ needs, decision-making factors, and expectations for successful mobility solutions. In this context, the group aims to explore bottom-up approaches to MaaS implementation, user-centered design, and effective marketing and promotional strategies, all while aligning with broader societal goals.
As the number of MaaS projects continues to grow around the world, and as we begin to embark on our own MaaS programme through the MaaS Investment Fund in Scotland, an important question comes into focus – what does success look like and how do we measure it? Answering that question will be the key when building the business case for future MaaS upscale in Scotland. Not only must we fully understand the impact of early projects, but we must also support the consolidation of data that will strengthen the case for future MaaS investment.
The direction of MaaS development and deployment will continue to be heavily influenced by regional and national policy instruments. If we are to realise the many benefits of MaaS then these instruments must encourage modal shift through supporting more accessible, integrated, affordable and environmentally friendly services. They must also be adapted in such a way as to continue to encourage private sector collaboration and investment. Data will be a key enabler for future MaaS solutions. From fares to scheduling, traffic management to vehicle positioning, data will support more informed travel choices and allow more efficient use of our transport assets.
The product development journey – from ideation to manufacture and sales – is long and complex. The process is often iterative with a focus on product performance, driven by a desire to create the best product possible within the limitations of technology, engineering and budget. Compliance – the necessity to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations within a particular market area – is often an afterthought, considered only in the later stages of development. This can often result in compliance issues being identified only very late in the design process, leading to time consuming and expensive changes to a product or service mature in its development. Compliance by design is a process that incorporates regulatory compliance frameworks and product safety/security requirements at all stages of product development – from product concept to launch and throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Decisions made during the design process can lead to outcomes that either enable or disable users: improving equity or creating greater division. Designers rarely intend to exclude people but there is a natural tendency to extrapolate personal experiences and project assumptions onto people who have quite different needs. At best, this can result in a missed opportunity to deliver or exceed satisfaction for customers. At worst, the results can be catastrophic. Inclusive design is a mind-set and approach that mitigates against this natural tendency, proactively and intentionally taking measures to ensure that the product, service or technology being designed enables equity of performance and usability for everyone – see Product Design Scotland Toolkit developed in partnership with Innovate UK KTN.