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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-12800: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what support it gives to inventors; how this support is promoted, and what methods it uses to encourage innovation.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 15 December 2017

The Scottish Government's vision is to be a place where innovation is built into our culture, society and economy. We recognise the role that innovators and inventors are playing in contributing to this aim and that is why we are investing in the development and application of innovation and technology. Some specific measures include:

Supporting the network of eight Innovation Centres; doubling our funding for CivTech® - enabling them to scale up their activity to address cross-sector public sector needs with business-led innovation; using public sector needs and spend to catalyse innovation by, for example, the £9m CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund; investing £90 million towards development of the £180 million Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen; and investing £48 million in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, which will allow business to access expertise and cutting edge technology to design and develop prototype products in advanced manufacturing disciplines. We are also seeking to double Business Enterprise Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) by 2025 and are stimulating growth in BERD through increasing Scottish Government support for business R&D grants, delivered by our enterprise network, by £45 million over the next three years to reach £111 million over this period - an increase of 70%.

We have made guidance available for individuals and businesses with early-stage ideas at www.mygov.scot/business/develop-ideas-for-businesses/ In addition, a range of public sector and other support information for businesses is available at www.mygov.scot/business/funding-businesses-ideas/. This support starts with Business Gateway, which is delivered through Scotland's local authorities.

Scottish Enterprise can deliver innovation support aimed at helping businesses commercialise new ideas and may include one-to-one specialist support, access to expertise and, where appropriate, grant assistance. Information is available at www.scottish-enterprise.com/knowledge-hub/articles/guide/innovation-support.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise delivers a regional innovation service called Innovate Your Business which supports businesses who are new to innovating. Information is available at www.hie.co.uk/business-support/innovation-r-d/