Sturgeon announces £78m business innovation fund

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today announced a new £78 million innovation fund at a private meeting of 80 key business leaders.

The fund will be used to provide direct support and specialist advice to private sector businesses in Scotland from now until 2018, with the Scottish Government hoping it will help bring 1,000 new products or services to the market.

It is expected that the fund will also allow around 1,200 extra businesses to work directly with Scottish universities.

Almost half of the fund value - £31 million - will come from the European Regional Development Fund, while the remainder will be raised from Scotland’s enterprise agencies.

Ms Sturgeon, giving the keynote address at a Scottish Council for Development and Industry event, said: “Our economic strategy focuses on the ‘four Is’ - 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.”

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