Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing helps launch £40,000 Collaboration Prize

Scottish businesses encouraged to think collaboratively and help deliver sustainable growth
£10,000 extra funding made available to support business growth from Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS)

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, is helping to launch a £40,000 prize today [June 3] designed to encourage businesses to work collaboratively.

Last year First Minister Alex Salmond launched Co-operative Development Scotland’s (CDS) inaugural Collaboration Prize at Edinburgh Castle. CDS is a subsidiary of Scottish Enterprise.

This year the pool of funding has been boosted by £10,000 to £40,000. The four winning concepts will be announced in October and will each receive a cash prize of £5,000 and £5,000 of support.

Scotland’s 578 co-operative businesses already play a major role in driving economic growth. They have a combined turnover of £4bn and employ 28,600 people.

The aim is to encourage businesses to consider collaboration and pitch their idea for a new consortium co-operative. This year the focus is on three key sectors of the Scottish economy namely: food and drink, tourism and the creative industries.

Evidence from across Europe shows collaboration increases productivity, innovation and growth. It also delivers intangible benefits to firms such as increasing their influence and confidence.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, said: “The 250-year-old roots of the co-operative movement can be traced here to Scotland. Its principles of economic vitality and social responsibility resonate with the ambitions of this government and are perhaps more relevant today than ever before.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all of Scotland’s people are able to benefit from the gifts that come from sustainable economic growth. As such I am delighted to support CDS in its Collaboration Prize this year – an exercise that will encourage our home grown talent to think about working together to succeed on the world stage.”

Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “After the success of the 2012 Collaboration Prize we have increased the level of support to £40,000. In an ever more global economy, collaboration offers our many SMEs the opportunity to increase their capacity and in turn help deliver sustainable growth to Scotland.

“This year we want to boost collaboration in key sectors of the Scottish economy namely food and drink, tourism and the creative industries. So we welcome on-board our partners Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance and Creative Scotland. The consortium business model makes companies more productive, innovative and ultimately successful.”

Last year’s three winners were Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland, Screen Facilities Scotland and Castle Loch Foods Ltd.

Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland brings together the members of the Orchestra of Scottish Opera in an artistic collaboration to explore new markets for classical music at home and overseas.

Katie Hull, from Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland, said: “In 2011 members with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera moved from working on a full-time to a part-time basis. Forming a consortium co-operative gives people a one stop shop for our musical services.

"We have been able to market ourselves as a full orchestra for hire and cater for a range of different events. It’s been an amazing year for us since we won the prize and we’re aiming for bigger and better things. We would encourage companies to consider the collaborative approach.”

Notes to editors

About the Collaboration Prize

The Collaboration Prize was launched by First Minister Alex Salmond at Edinburgh Castle in 2012 to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

Set up by Co-operative Development Scotland, the competition aims to encourage businesses in Scotland to consider collaboration and pitch their idea for a new consortium co-operative.

Up to four winning concepts in 2013 will each receive a cash prize of £5,000 and up to £5,000 of support.

There are three sector-specific awards this year which will target Scottish businesses working in the tourism, creative and food and drink industries. These awards have been supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Creative Scotland and Scotland Food and Drink.

There are 578 co-operative businesses in Scotland with a combined turnover of more than £4bn and employing 28,600 people.

For more information about the Collaboration Prize or to learn more about previous winners, please visit: www.scottish-enterprise.com/cds-collaboration-prize or join the conversations on Twitter #CollaborationPrize

For more information about the Collaboration Prize supporting partners, please visit their websites here:

The Scottish Tourism Alliance: scottishtourismalliance.co.uk / @st_alliance

Creative Scotland: www.creativescotland.co.uk / @CreativeScots

Scotland Food & Drink: www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org / @scotfooddrink

For further information please contact:

Bill Ranatunga: 07770 886 950 / branatunga@webershandwick.com

Ed Black: 07770 886 908 / eblack@webershandwick.com

Contact Information