Mixed picture for Scotland as firms target innovation funding

Scotland is trailing some other parts of the UK when it comes to securing government innovation funding but is still pulling its weight nationally, a study suggests.

Businesses across the UK have received some £12.3 billion of grant awards from government innovation agency Innovate UK since 2003.

In that time, Scotland has benefited to a greater extent than many regions of the UK, except the north east of England, the West Midlands and London, once adjusted for business population.

Businesses in Scotland have received awards equivalent to £2,704 each, which is 58.4 per cent less than the north east of England, though still slightly ahead of the UK national average of £2,563.

Businesses in Scotland have received awards equivalent to £2,704 each, which is 58.4 per cent less than the north east of England, though still slightly ahead of the UK national average of £2,563. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

According to the study by innovation funding specialist Catax, businesses in north-east England have received awards equivalent to £6,504 per business, but Scotland receives a far greater share of Innovate UK awards than both Wales (£1,623) and Northern Ireland (£1,465).

Applicants in Scotland have been awarded £836 million in total.

The University of Strathclyde has been offered the biggest grant award in Scotland over the last five years, Catax noted. The £94m award went towards the Advanced Forming Research Centre aimed at growing UK manufacturing.

Karen Taylor, group head of grants at Catax, said: “Scottish businesses are making good use of government innovation grants compared to the UK average and this all bodes well for the research and development.

“It suggests that the message about the availability of grant funding has really got through in Scotland,” she added.

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