Media Release: SCDI welcomes First Minister’s new Innovation Fund


WELCOMING the announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP of a new £78million Innovation Fund at a briefing in Edinburgh for SCDI members from across the private, public and social economy sectors, SCDI chief executive, Ross Martin, said:

“New funding to help Scottish businesses develop new products and services is very welcome.

“However, even more important is what this support can do to increase specialist advice and practical know-how for businesses around the many ways they can innovate to better meet the needs of customers, and create a leaner collaboration between our education and research system and our businesses.

“Scotland needs to be at the forefront of international innovation. The First Minister’s invitation to the private, public and social economy sectors to help develop three ‘Hubs’ which the Scottish Government plans in Brussels, Dublin and London will enhance their potential to identify opportunities for collaboration and investment.

“The First Minister’s announcement of the new Innovation Fund is timely for SCDI in prefacing the forthcoming publication of our Blueprint for Scotland’s economy, in which we will tackle the three structural weaknesses of innovation, productivity and internationalisation underpinned by infrastructure.

“We accept the First Minister’s challenge to engage and help to drive sustainable growth in Scotland’s economy.”


Notes to editors:

SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is Scotland’s leading independent economic development organisation working across the public, private and social economy sectors, representing 1,200 organisations including global companies, SMEs, public sector bodies and educational institutions, professional associations and trade unions, faith groups, charitable and social economy sector organisations.

For further information, please contact: Gareth Williams, director of policy, SCDI

T: 07917 103997

[Copy of Scottish Government release of 28/09/15 – here – for reference]:

Business innovation boost

£78 million fund to help companies develop new products

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed Scotland is set to become an ‘innovation nation’ thanks to a new funding package which will help Scottish businesses develop almost 1,000 new inventions, products and services.

The measure is the next key step in the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy which focuses on investment, innovation, internationalisation and inclusive growth.

The £78 million fund will be available to business between now and 2018 and will offer a bespoke support service of financial support and specialist advice.

The fund is also expected to allow an extra 1,200 businesses to work directly with our universities.

In a key note address at an SCDI event for 80 key business leaders, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Our economic strategy focuses on the ‘four I’s’ – Investing in our people, Innovation, Inclusive Growth and Internationalisation.

“Promoting innovation is an incredibly powerful way of creating a sustainably prosperous society. For example, the innovation support Scottish Enterprise provided just last year will generate additional economic activity worth more than £650 million between now and 2018.

“Now, we want to do even more. I can announce today that the Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies have created a new package of support for innovation worth £78 million over the next three years.

“In total, we expect to see businesses develop 1,000 commercial products which are new to their firm – or perhaps even more importantly, completely new to the market place as a whole.

“Those new products will differ in terms of their importance and their impact – but our overall intention is clear.  We want to support ambitious and innovative companies in every corner of Scotland. And we want those companies to develop and profit from new products, which improve the wellbeing of individuals around the world.”


The Scottish Government has dedicated £31 million of the funding available to us through the European Regional Development Fund, to develop a new package of support for innovation. The European funding will then be more than matched by our enterprise agencies, providing a total fund of £78 million between now and 2018.

Released on behalf of SCDI by:

Jill Creighton, director, HEADLINE PR

  1. 07775 862552 / 0141 334 3535

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