Innovation

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Innovation in Scotland

In medicine, science, engineering and more, Scotland has long been a hot-bed of invention, exploration and discovery.

We continue to have the largest concentration of universities in Europe, with at least four in the world’s top 200.

We do more research per head of population than anywhere else, and Scotland is, unsurprisingly, the top location for R&D in the UK.

With a range of tax credits and funding available, it's time to find out why Scotland is the natural home for innovative companies.

R & D boosts in Scotland

Building on a legacy of invention - from TV to penicillin, animal cloning to anaesthetic – Scotland is still a place of discovery and innovation.

If your company is like-minded, we can support your research and development investment in a number of ways: 

  • Partnerships - we can help you harness the expertise of our world-leading universities 
  • Grants - funding is available to help your R&D project 
  • Tax credits - large and small companies committing to R&D are eligible for tax credits 
  • Venture capital - Scotland's business angel community offers both venture capital and expertise
Innovation in Scotland

Patent power

If you’ve got a great patented idea that you’re eager to turn into a business reality, Patent Box is another reason to do it in Scotland.

We have some special tax breaks for patent holders.

These mean that you will pay just 10% corporate tax on any profits from commercialising your UK or European patent here in Scotland. 

That’s a full 56% lower than normal. 


A great incentive for companies like yours to bring existing patents to commercial life and continue to develop innovative new ones. 

All in that great tradition of Scottish inventiveness, stretching from the discovery of penicillin to the world’s first commercially-available fully-mobile artificial arm.

Toshiba Medical's £18m investment in R&D

MRI and CT scanners depend on the specialist solutions provided by Toshiba Medical Visualisation Systems (TMVS).

The parent company would normally outsource product development, but the business case for investing in Scotland, and TMVS, for their life sciences R&D was compelling. 

Find out more


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Innovate with Scotland's universities

Scotland's world-class university sector drives innovation and is ready to work with companies like yours

If you're looking for partners to support R&D and innovation, Scotland's universities can help:

  • Almost half of all FDI projects cite our universities as a determining factor in the decision to invest in Scotland
  • Scotland's people are one of our greatest strengths - our universities continue to produce the high quality graduates that persuade companies to invest in Scotland
  • Scotland accounts for only 11% of UK universities but 29% of the UK's innovative collaborations between universities and SMEs
  • Scotland has more collaborations between universities and industry than any other country in Europe
  • Our universities work with 26,000 companies every year - helping turn new ideas into new products and services
  • Scotland is the most successful part of the UK for spin-out companies, 28% of all UK spin-outs are created in Scotland
  • Universities grew their contribution to the Scottish economy by 6.3% in the last year - that makes our universities our third largest industry

(Source: Universities Scotland, September 2013)