Media Release: Investment in innovation essential for future growth of Scottish economy

IAIN Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, will next week tell Scottish businesses that they need to invest in innovation now if they are to benefit from future economic growth.

Iain Gray will be speaking on 28 October at Innovate Scotland, the major conference and exhibition for business, organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.

“The Technology Strategy Board is delighted to support Innovate Scotland, which is taking place at a very important time. If Scottish businesses are to benefit when the economy improves, they need to invest in innovation now, during the downturn,” Iain said. “This way, they will both help to stimulate economic growth and be better positioned to take commercial advantage.”

He continued: “We are very keen to encourage innovative Scottish companies to get involved in our programmes so are looking forward to engaging with them at Innovate Scotland. This year, we are placing emphasis on encouraging and supporting innovation in the critical areas of energy, low carbon technologies, life sciences and the digital economy. These are areas where Scottish companies have something to offer.”

At its major annual conference, Innovate 09, in London on 13 October, the government-backed Technology Strategy Board announced that, between now and next spring, it would be inviting businesses from across the UK to compete for £39.5m of government funding for research and development in fields such as regenerative medicine, transport and logistics, agriculture, infectious diseases and low carbon housing.

In addition, the Board announced the creation of a new ‘Innovation Platform’ in Sustainable Agriculture and Food.  This will bring business, government and academia together to focus on innovative solutions to the challenge of food production and its environmental impact. The Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £50m in this programme over the next five years, while other organisations, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will make significant contributions.

Aimed primarily at business, Innovate Scotland  – which will take place at Aviemore Highland Resort on 28 and 29 October, will both inform and inspire, showing how businesses can innovate to lay the foundations for growth now and in the future. The event will showcase the wide range of programmes, networks and support available to encourage technology-enabled innovation.

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Contact: Christine Jardine
Phone: 01463 244244 or 07550 0089211
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