Scottish Enterprise launches scheme encouraging SMEs to carry out research

Scottish Enterprise has formed a strategic partnership with Norwegian drilling giant Statoil to encourage smaller firms to invest in research and development (R&D).

The new scheme, based on a model which has been successfully delivered in Norway for more than 20 years, aims to encourage larger companies to work more closely with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find solutions to their operational challenges.

Scottish Enterprise hopes the scheme will contribute to an additional £80 million of R&D spend over the next five years.

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Chief executive Lena Wilson said: “Investing in innovation can make the difference between a successful business and a world leader.

“That’s why we’ve enhanced our R&D support to help more companies invest in developing new products, processes or services by working more closely with their customers.”

She said Scottish Enterprise wanted to develop a culture where large companies demand “innovative solutions” from the Scottish SME base.

“Delivering more projects of this nature will also increase the likelihood of successful commercial outcomes for SMEs, leading to increased exports and competitiveness,” she said.