Innovation in Scotland

Innovation can mean the difference between success and failure for a business. Scotland provides the perfect ecosystem for innovation – with the right skills and expertise, strong networks and commitments from universities.

A culture of innovation

Scotland’s long tradition of innovation remains as strong today as it ever has been. Smart, profitable ideas flow from the broad mix of multinational firms based here, and from the diverse business, academic and technology communities that support them.

From the telephone and penicillin to the ATM and the colour photograph, Scotland has claim to a lot of great inventions and discoveries over the years. Today, innovation is felt, taught and incorporated across the whole of Scottish life, work and play.  

We’re working on ground-breaking innovative products and services – like thermal imaging that helps robots detect humans, flat-packed building blocks made from recycled plastic, molecular imaging technology, revolutionary malaria treatment and biofuel made from whisky by-products.

New research from Knight Frank has named Edinburgh as Britain’s most innovative city outside of London, with Glasgow hot on its heels in second place.

The UK Cities 2022 report also highlighted Aberdeen as a leading business hub due to its strong innovation infrastructure and emerging startup ecosystem.

Giving the green light for spinouts

Scotland’s innovative culture means that more university spinouts are created here than anywhere else in the UK – including London. All 19 of our universities are committed to supporting spinouts, for example by motivating their academics to form spinouts, providing access to intellectual property and supporting activities across all sectors.

Get in touch with our team of advisers to find out how we can help you.

Scotland's Innovation Centres and Centres of Excellence

In Scotland, great ideas are nurtured. Across all industries and technologies, our innovation centres and centres of excellence exist to help businesses do incredible things. Here’s a flavour of the ways our centres can help you.

Funding for innovation

Innovation, research and development is key to Scotland’s growth, and that’s why we offer generous funding for innovative projects and businesses via Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's national economic development agency. As well as grant funding, Scottish Enterprise can help you access other forms of finance, such as investors.

If you’re planning on doing research and development work, Scotland is the ideal place.

Find out more from Scottish Enterprise


How we can help your business

We help companies look for new business models, new products and services and new market opportunities. Our experienced and connected innovation advisers help businesses break new ground. We stay ahead of the game across all industry sectors, so you'll invest in a business infrastructure that's innovative and dynamic, forward-thinking and high-achieving.

Contact us to find out how we could help you


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