Business is constantly urged to innovate. But Scottish businesses are often accused of lagging in innovation. Is this fair?
Figures unveiled at a Venturefest Scotland 2016 event last week showcased the benefits of innovation in generating new products, services, processes, markets and revenue streams for businesses.

Companies working with Scottish Enterprise say they expect £488 million in additional sales over the next three years as a result of their innovation activities.

The extra sales are expected to come from innovation projects undertaken by 233 Scottish companies between April 2015 and March 2016 with SE support.
Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation and Infrastructure, said: “These figures show that the companies we support are turning their ideas into successful products and services.”

“Over the past two years, the companies we work with forecasted £1 billion in additional sales, with the majority expected in international markets, highlighting the strong relationship between innovation and international success. “

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Innovation is essential for increasing competitiveness and improving Scotland’s economic performance as well as the quality of life of those who live here.
“Scotland is a country that has contributed enormously to the modern world, but in today’s competitive world economy, increasing Scotland’s business innovation performance is a key priority for the Scottish Government and this is reflected in initiatives such as establishment of Scotland’s CAN DO Innovation Forum.”

One company that’s worked with SE to develop its innovation activity is Jas P Wilson, a forestry and firewood machinery suppliers and engineers based in Dalbeattie It works with Scottish Enterprise and receives tailored support to accelerate its international growth. The company now exports its products across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Venturefest Scotland brings together small and medium sized ambitious Scottish companies, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to connect and explore ways of growing and innovating. The event  attracted around 700 business owners, influencers, investors, entrepreneurs and academics from Scotland, the rest of the UK and overseas. For more info, go to

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