Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has launched a £78 million ($118m) fund to help the country become an “innovation nation” and push Scottish businesses to develop almost 1,000 new inventions, products and services.
The Scottish Government said it has allocated £31 million from the European Regional Development Fund for its new innovation push and that the European funding will be “more than matched by our enterprise agencies, providing a total fund of £78 million between now and 2018.”
The innovation 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 Scottish universities.
“Promoting innovation is an incredibly powerful way of creating a sustainably prosperous society,” said Sturgeon at a Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) event.
“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.”
Sturgeon added: “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.”