Scottish Enterprise support generates £8.4 million investment in R&D

£8.4 million has been invested by Scottish companies in new research and development projects according to the latest figures from Scottish Enterprise.

This private sector investment has been supported by £1.5 million from Scottish Enterprise’s research and development funding into projects between April and June 2011, taking total R&D spend to £9.9 million.

Through its suite of innovation grants including R&D and SMART: SCOTLAND, Scottish Enterprise has supported 30 new projects to help companies increase their competitiveness by developing new products and services. When a company invests in research and development, Scottish Enterprise can provide support by investing alongside them in order to manage the risk involved and to help encourage more companies to take that next step in making their ambitious growth plans a reality.

David Smith, innovation and enterprise services director, Scottish Enterprise, said: “It’s vital that more companies continue to embrace innovation for Scotland to maintain its competitive edge and to avoid being left behind on the global stage. We want to encourage companies to increase their levels of R&D and to take the time now to invest in future products and processes. Our R&D grants are a key tool in helping us do this.”

“In addition, the pipeline of projects coming through is progressing well with encouraging discussions on some new applications”

The most recent research on R&D from Portal shows that Scotland is one of the few areas in the UK where companies are continuing to invest in R&D. An impressive 15% of Scottish companies have increased their investment compared to the national average of just under 5%.

Innovation is a key driver of business growth, with research showing that companies which continually innovate are more productive, employ more people and exploit new markets through trade and export.

Trends during this quarter show that the enabling technologies sector was the largest sector to undertake R&D projects, with 11 projects receiving funding of £600,000 and company investment totalling £2.7 million.

Overall, the largest award from Scottish Enterprise was made to Mortherwell–based Argent Energy, receiving £100,000 to support a project worth £3.7 million.

Pioneering biodiesel producer, Argent Energy, will use the grant to contribute towards the costs of developing and trialling a high quality biodiesel made from oils and fats that have been recovered from sewers and effluent plants.

Notes to editors

  • The SMART: SCOTLAND grant supports technical and commercial feasibility studies and R&D for innovative projects that represent significant technological advance with an industry.
  • A research and development grant can support industrial research and experimental development and is available to all businesses. The grant is supported through European Regional Development Funds.

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