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Record business innovation

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Record business innovation

BUSINESS innovation is at an all-time high in Dumfries and Galloway with more money being spent every year by firms on research and development projects.

New figures from Scottish Enterprise show that £5.7 million was spent by manufacturers based locally on R&D in 2016 – compared to £4.9m the year before and a massive jump on 2001 when it was just £990,000 in this area,. And it is equivalent to £39,000 per head of the region’s population and also accounted for 0.5 per cent of overall Scottish spending on R&D in 2016. Scottish Enterprise’s aim to engage more companies and raise their awareness of and participation in different kinds of innovation has helped over 2800 nationally to start innovating in last two years.

Meanwhile, Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed new data from the Scottish Government, showing Scotland has for the first time achieved more than£1bn business R&D expenditure, with Scotland outperforming the UK in terms of R&D spend growth.

Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise services at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Our performance results over the last two years show a universal rise in business innovation activity across Scotland, regardless of how you measure it. Designing our approach to innovation to stimulate business demand and aligning our resources behind this approach has meant we’re on track to meet or exceed all of our three-year Business Plan targets. This is fantastic news for Scotland that will build competitive advantage for companies for years to come. However, we can’t rest on our laurels. We’re ambitious to help even more companies generate new revenue from innovation activity, and I’d encourage every business that wants to innovate to get in touch.”

  • Photo by Peter Devlin

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