Scotland providing over 25% of uni spin-out firms

SCOTLAND is “punching above its weight” in university spin-out firms which are worth about £300 million to the economy, official figures have today found.

Professor Peter Higgs has raised Scotland's reputation for research. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Professor Peter Higgs has raised Scotland's reputation for research. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

They account for 26 per cent of new companies generated by research in the UK, compared to Scotland’s population share of 8.4 per cent.

In total, Scotland has produced 20 per cent of new spin-offs in the UK over the last decade and has had a higher rate of companies going towards trade sale and floatation than London and the South East of England, according to the latest Praxis Unico Spinout report for 2013.

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Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “These figures show that Scotland punches above its weight when it comes to Higher Education. We already know that Scotland is world renowned for its research, not least for being home to recent Nobel winner Professor Peter Higgs.”

He added: “I believe a Scotland with full control over its resources and powers can make this happen. As we made clear in Scotland’s Future, this Government will provide public investment in research that will enable our researchers and universities to remain internationally competitive.”

But the UK Government says there is a highly integrated research environment across Britain which allows funding, ideas and people to flow unhindered across the UK in pursuit of research excellence.

A spokeswoman for the Scotland Office said: “In 2010 the UK Government allocated £1.9 billion for science and research capital for the period 2011-15.

“Since then we’ve allocated an additional £1.5 billion for science and innovation capital. We’ve got a network of seven Research Councils operating across the UK which minimises duplication and overlap and maximises our ability to make new and innovative discoveries.”