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Seven secrets of Scotland's innovation success

UK Sales Lead
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In the dynamic landscape of UK innovation, Scotland has emerged as a powerhouse, contributing significantly to overall progress and leading the way in key sectors such as oil, gas and renewables.

From cutting-edge technologies to sustainable practices, Scottish businesses have played a pivotal role. So, what are the ingredients in Scotland’s recipe for innovation success? And how can businesses maintain this innovation tradition in the face of fierce global competition?

1. R&D tax relief in Scotland

More than 3,700 R&D tax relief claims were made by Scottish businesses in 2021/22 (according to HMRC R&D tax credits statistics). By leveraging innovation incentives, companies have reinvested in R&D, driving breakthroughs across sectors. ForrestBrown has been at the forefront, with our team in Scotland helping hundreds of businesses navigate the complex and changing R&D tax relief landscape.

2. A rich tradition of innovation

Scottish inventors have revolutionised a wide range of fields, from television to antibiotics. Innovation is in Scotland’s DNA, and it continues to shape the world today, as the examples below demonstrate.

3. The Scottish innovation ecoystem

Scotland boasts world-class innovation assets, including vibrant higher education institutions and innovative companies. The Scottish Government sets the policy direction, aligning with the UK Innovation Strategy to create an environment conducive to growth. At ForrestBrown, we champion this ecosystem, acknowledging the important role of collaboration through our work with partners such as Technology Scotland.

4. Repurposing oil and gas infrastructure

The oil and gas industry, historically a major contributor to the Scottish economy, has adapted to the energy transition. Recognising resources are finite, companies have flexed to adapt existing infrastructure. Examples include harnessing wave energy for hydrogen, tapping geothermal energy to extend the life of deep field drilling, and using remote node points to enable offshore energy generation. The National Decommissioning Centre is a global leader in R&D which transforms decommissioning for the energy sector.

Discover more on how ForrestBrown support businesses claiming for R&D in the renewables sector.

5. Edinburgh: a fintech and cybersecurity hub

Scotland’s capital city has become a hub for financial technology and cybersecurity. Companies like Skyscanner, FreeAgent and Nucleus Financial lead the charge, using technology to transform traditional financial services.

6. Glasgow’s biotech sector

With funding from Innovate UK’s launchpad competition, Glasgow City Region has become a thriving centre for Scotland’s flourishing biotech sector.

7. Sustainable transformation of supply chains

Scotland’s traditional industries have led the charge when it comes to transitioning to a more sustainable model and this has positively influenced change throughout supply chains. Businesses providing the vital tools and infrastructure for energy generation have embraced the need to reduce their environmental impact as part of a holistic approach to carbon.

Funding future innovation in Scotland

As the R&D tax relief landscape continues to evolve, it’s vital that innovative Scottish businesses continue to explore the full range of incentives available. ForrestBrown’s team in Scotland is well placed to help navigate the evolving R&D landscape. Make sure you’re business is prepared for the latest changes by getting in touch with ForrestBrown’s expert team in Scotland.

Proud to support innovation in Scotland

To explore how innovation incentives could benefit your business, please get in touch.