Targeting Innovation to be owned by staff

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Business support group Targeting Innovation has secured a string of contracts worth more than £500,000, paving the way for its transfer into a stand-alone operation owned by its staff.

The Glasgow-based group had been running as a partnership between Scottish Enterprise and various Scottish universities.

Its 14 employees will directly hold 49 per cent of the shares. The remainder are owned collectively through a newly-created employee benefit trust.

Chief executive George Boag said the move would cement the group’s future in Scotland.

“When the company was founded 20 years ago with the support of Glasgow Development Agency, it was funded entirely through European grants,” he said. “It quickly evolved into a self-funding model, securing business through competitive tendering, along with other private sector commissions.”

The latest contract wins “set us off on the right foot”, Boag added. The deals include one with the Scottish Government to develop online support for early-stage inventors.

In the north of England, Targeting Innovation has extended a contract with the European Commission to help businesses develop trading partnerships in other European countries.

It has also secured new business providing intellectual property audits through the UK government’s Growth Accelerator programme.

The group – which has worked with more than 5,000 businesses since 1993 – was advised on its transfer to employee ownership by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), a subsidiary of Scottish Enterprise.