The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Scottish Enterprise supports £100 million
R&D investment by Scottish companies

Scottish Enterprise revealed today (Wednesday 2 September) that it had helped Scottish businesses invest more than £100 million in new research and development projects over the past year.

The figure was revealed at the agency’s Annual Public Meeting in Kilmarnock, where Scottish Enterprise announced details of its performance during 2008/09.

Scottish Enterprise said that despite tough trading conditions, companies were still willing to invest in projects that will strengthen their business through the development of new products or new ways of working.

During 2008/09, Scottish Enterprise’s investment of £17 million in R&D projects helped to stimulate more than £100 million from the private sector.

Crawford Gillies, Chairman of Scottish Enterprise (pictured above) said: “These projects would not have happened in Scotland without our support but they are now firmly embedded within Scotland, creating much needed jobs and investment.

“For every £1 we invested in these projects, the companies themselves invested more than £6. The fact that companies are continuing to invest is very significant in terms of our ability to move out of the recession.”

He added: “Fostering a culture of innovation has never been more important in helping companies to respond to the challenges they are facing as well as achieving long term sustainable growth for Scotland. A company needs to be innovative if it is to be able adapt to changing market conditions and compete on the international stage.

“Over the next year, this is going to be a significant priority for Scottish Enterprise as we help support our customers to identify new opportunities to strengthen and grow their business by thinking creatively and taking a different approach to all aspects of business improvement, whether that is through new research and development; developing new business processes or staff development.”

Other results for 2008/09 announced at the Annual Public Meeting included:

* Continuing to expand the number of growth businesses supported through its account management programme

* Doubling the size of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to provide companies with real improvements in their business by generating new efficiencies and reducing costs

* Supporting the development of 17 high growth start up companies, which have the potential to generate £5 million turnover within three years

* Attracting more than 1,800 new and safeguarded high value jobs through inward investment

* Supporting 48 collaborative projects between Scottish companies and academia to support greater commercialisation of Scotland’s research

* Completing a record number of investment deals through its equity funds, generating £80 million of investment for Scottish companies

Jack Perry, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise (pictured above) said: “The global economic turbulence of the past year and the challenges this has presented our customers has tested our new remit and structure to the full.

“Despite this, we have achieved almost all of our goals and targets for the year. The fact we have had such success in attracting new foreign direct investment and encouraging new research and development activity amongst Scottish companies is a significant achievement.

“We do not underestimate, however, the challenges that our customers continue to face. Over the next year, we want to build on these achievements and deliver tailored support to help our customers respond to these challenges and identify new opportunities to grow their business.

“We will also be stepping up our commercialisation efforts to generate more wealth from the intellectual property that we develop in Scotland. Accordingly, we will focus more of our efforts on how we can create more businesses and business value out of the outstanding science and technology within our universities and research institutes.”

About Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main enterprise, innovation and investment agency. Working in partnership with industry, academia and the public sector, SE aims to help make Scotland a place where business can thrive and key industries can be competitive. Its focus is to help businesses grow, encourage greater innovation and create the right conditions for companies to access property, markets and finance to increase productivity and increase Scotland’s ability to compete internationally.

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