Scottish Enterprise generates more than £700m planned innovation activity

Scottish Enterprise generates more than £700m planned innovation activity

Adrian Gillespie

Scottish Enterprise’s support is forecast to generate £709.74 million of Scottish innovation expenditure.

The agency approved £120m in grant funding and equity investment for innovation activities in the 2021-22 financial year, which is now calculated to deliver a further £502m innovation investment from the private sector as well as £86m from public sector partners

A total of 260 projects are being supported, delivering an impressive array of innovations from private firms developing solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, to new spin-outs from our world-leading universities, and vital infrastructure in the form of Scotland’s first class innovation centres.

Supported projects included:

  • Australian inward investor BigTinCan announced plans to expand its Glasgow software development centre in order to accelerate a series of R&D projects, following confirmation of a funding package from Scottish Enterprise worth £1.4m. BigTinCan specialises in developing software for use by companies’ salesforces, to help improve their customers’ experiences.
  • University of Edinburgh life sciences spin-out Kynos Therapeutics announced that it had raised £9m in growth funding, including investment from Scottish Enterprise. The company is developing a treatment to help regulate the immune system and protect patients against tissue damage caused by a mitochondrial enzyme known as KMO.
  • Scottish Enterprise announced a grant award of £2.5m to Scotch whisky maker North British Distillery. The funding will allow the company to develop and deliver a modernised distilling process, with the aim of significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
  • Scottish Enterprise also continued its funding support as a partner of Scotland’s many innovation centres, including the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Renfrew, the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) in Aberdeen, and the CENSIS centre for sensing, imaging and the internet of things (IOT) at the University of Glasgow.

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scottish companies are innovating to create greater opportunities for a more prosperous future, as well as delivering solutions to global challenges in areas like climate change, advanced manufacturing and life sciences. It’s great to see a sustained appetite among our business base to continue investing in innovation despite the current headwinds, while at the same time the private and public sectors continue to invest significantly in our first-class innovation centres. These activities will ensure Scotland remains a leading innovation nation.”

Business minster Ivan McKee added: “Through our enterprise agencies we are supporting business and industry to adopt the innovative technologies and processes that will help increase their resilience and capacity for growth.

“In Scotland, it is vital that we utilise innovation to grow the economy, create jobs and deliver on our net zero ambitions, to be one of the most innovative small nations in the world.

“This winter, we will publish a new National Innovation Strategy for Scotland, ensuring that our businesses, people and institutions are ready to meet the global economic challenges we face over the next 10 years, and grasp opportunities.”

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