Minutes from May board meeting, held in Glasgow on 27 May 2011
- Crawford Gillies, Chairman
- Lena Wilson, Chief Executive
- Ian Crawford
- Russel Griggs
- Iain Macdonald
- Professor Jim McDonald
- John McGlynn
- Iain McLaren
- Jeremy Peat
- Grahame Smith
- Linda Urquhart
- Mark Batho, Scottish Funding Council
- Paul Lewis, MD Operations, Sectors & Commercialisation
- Anne MacColl, Chief Executive SDI
- Linda McDowall, Director, Business Networks & Communications
- Jim McFarlane, MD Operations, Company Growth, Innovation & Infrastructure
- Iain Scott, Chief Financial Officer
- Carolyn Stewart, Director, People Services
- Julian Taylor, Director, Strategy and Economics
- Imelda Molloy, Corporate Office
1.1 MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING HELD ON 6 MAY 2011 - SE(M)241
The Minutes of the previous Meeting were approved and the Matters Arising noted.
1.2 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
The Chairman and Chief Executive had met with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth and the new Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism who had provided an early indication of priorities for the future.
The new Cabinet structure meant that a number of Cabinet Secretaries would have responsibility for areas covered by SE’s remit. Consideration would be given as to whether it might be appropriate for the SE Board to meet with the Cabinet.
It was agreed that a discussion on collaboration with other agencies would be added to a future agenda for discussion.
SE would continue to work with Scottish Government officials to provide appropriate input for future budget negotiations based on the 3 year plan approved by the Board. A discussion on this would be scheduled for the August Board meeting
Members were encouraged to complete the annual Board survey.
1.3 CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT
Under the powers delegated by the Board the Chief Executive had now approved the direct investment discussed at the previous Board meeting. Lena Wilson outlined the actions taken to meet the conditions set.
A second potential direct investment was outlined with advance notice given that, subject to appropriate progression of current negotiations, approval might be sought at the June Board meeting.
SE’s pay remit for 2011/112 had been approved by the Executive Leadership Team and submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.
Updates were provided on recruitment to senior posts. The EMEA director post had been offered to an internal candidate. 2nd stage interviews had been conducted for the SMAS Director and an appointment was expected in the near future.
The Amazon investment had been announced by the First Minister on 25 May. James Cameron and the project team were commended on an excellent outcome in securing the investment for Scotland.
An independent review of FDI investment conducted by Ernst & Young had been published. This indicated that Scotland had been second (behind the South East) in terms of FDI projects and the most successful UK region in terms of FDI job creation. The concerted approach of SDI had been acknowledged as key to this success.
SDI’s international advertising campaign had won the gold award in the Digital Marketing category at the Marketing Society Awards held in May. The gold award recognises the excellent quality of the creative work and the high innovative use of digital media.
The UK Government had announced the plans for a third Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in Energy with a focus on offshore engineering for offshore wind and marine energy. This was an area proposed by SE with strong support from senior industrialists. Work was now underway to build the strongest case for Scotland to benefit from the investment that will be made.
A Scottish offshore wind web portal had been launched by the First Minister on 18 May. This had been developed by the Scottish Government, SE and HIE in consultation with the wider industry to provide up-to-the-minute signposting for all information relating to the industry thus supporting the development of the Scottish supply chain.
SE had announced the results of an in-depth study into the economic impact potential of carbon capture and storage proposed developments at Longannet, Peterhead and Hunterston. Key findings were up to 4,600 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase to 2020 with a further c 450 operational jobs and significant GVA for the Scottish economy.
1.4 FINANCE & PERFORMANCE REPORT AS AT END OF APRIL 2011 – SE(11)71
Douglas Colquhoun joined the meeting for the discussion on this paper.
Key points reported from the paper were:
- The preparation of the SE and subsidiary accounts was progressing well. No significant unexpected issues had arisen and we therefore remain on track to achieve a breakeven position on cash resources and a modest level of headroom in the non-cash budget.
- Post year validation of performance measures was ongoing. Of most significance was the indication that the turnover growth measure, previously reported as unlikely to be met, was now forecast as achieving the target range resulting in all published measures being met.
- The detailed 2011/12 plan had been adjusted to take account of year end decisions.
The Board noted the expenditure to date position at the end of the first period of the new financial year.
2 STRATEGIC DISCUSSIONS
2.1 GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT – OPPORTUNITIES AND INFLUENCE – SE(11)72
Martin Wight, Strategy Development joined the meeting for this item which was introduced by Anne MacColl. The paper built on previous Board discussions around internationalisation, and included evidence gathered from field teams and Globalscots. It aimed to identify areas of the business environment where SE may wish to further positively influence decision makers across Scotland and beyond.
Kay factors affecting the business environment were: Skills, Education & Talent; Access to Finance; Connectivity; Taxation & Regulation; and the Innovation Environment.
Initial discussion covered labour and skills issues and taxation. It was agreed that further work might be done in these areas looking a SE’s role vis a vis others leading in these areas.
The discussion focused primarily on issues relating to (i) physical connectivity (direct travel links) and (ii) digital connectivity (communication links) where Scotland is underperforming relative to other economies. Members considered areas in which SE has a limited direct delivery role but may wish to positively influence other stakeholders to increase Scotland’s competitiveness.
Key points arising from the discussion were.
- SE was appropriately focussing effort where it can have the greatest impact but should look creatively for ‘levers’ to influence;
- SE could play a key influencing role by gathering a credible and strong evidence base covering connectivity issues affecting investment decisions and the ‘prize’ for Scotland of improved digital connectivity;
- While SE should be realistic about the ability to influence it should be confident and bold – seeking out ways to increase the pace and demand for change – using IAGs and other partners and stakeholders to reinforce the message.
2.2 PEOPLE AND PRODUCTIVITY – LEADERSHIP, AMBITION AND BUSINESS GROWTH – SE(11)73
Linda Hanna and Linda Murray were in attendance for this item.
The paper provided an update on the progress since the Board’s endorsement of the Ambition and Leadership Action Plan in August 2010. Many of the actions had not only been completed but had now resulted in Leadership being fully embedded in services across SE. Key Account Management tools and CPD training had also been amended to give a greater focus on leadership and ambition and its strong link to business growth.
In terms of wider collaboration, Scottish Enterprise, as requested by the Strategic Forum, had taken the lead in the development of a Framework for Action for Ambition and Leadership. This had been endorsed by the Strategic Forum in March 2011 and, subject to its adoption by the incoming Scottish Government, will be implemented to help drive stronger alignment between the public, private and third sectors.
The Board commended the significant progress made.
Areas suggested for further consideration and action were:
- Exploring the potential to build on the work of existing groups, considering the potential to extend remits and membership which might offer a real opportunity to achieve a step change in leadership and ambition in Scotland through improved collaboration.
- SE should explore what more might be done to extend its catalytic impact in the area of leadership with a strong focus on the private sector.
- A conference to bring together Business Mentors and mentee companies to share best practice would be helpful.
3.1 SE RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY – SE(11)74
The Board approved the updated Risk Management Policy, subject to incorporation of a further change to include reference to the additional consideration of currents risks by the Board at every alternate Meeting.
Ongoing monitoring would take place in relation to the current development of the Scottish Government’s risk management framework. A revised Policy would be presented for approval should any changes be requireD.
3.2 HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY – SE(11)75
The Board noted the updated Health & Safety Policy.
Grahame Smith commended the Policy as presented and offered to pass on details of best practice in other areas.
The Board would receive an annual report on Health & Safety issues.
4 GENERAL BUSINESS
4.1 COMMERCIALISATION –– SE(11)76
Eleanor Mitchell joined the meeting for the discussion on this paper which was introduced by Paul Lewis. Eleanor Mitchell highlighted:
- Key features of progress made, since the last Board update in June 2010, to implement the Commercialisation Action Plan.
- Specific company examples providing evidence of the impact of integrating SE interventions to support the creation and development of new high growth technology companies and enhance the growth of existing companies.
Discussion then focused on the challenges of entrepreneurial talent attraction and incentivisation, particularly at the early stage and the models being explored to stimulate future investment opportunities, in particular renewing the engagement and alignment of the Higher Education sector with the Commercialisation objectives.
The Board commended the strong progress made during the last year.
4.2 SE’S ROLE IN REGENERATION – SE(11)77
Allan McQuade and Martin Wight were in attendance for this item.
The paper outlined SE’s proposed approach to future SE regeneration activity in response to the Scottish Government regeneration discussion paper ‘Building a Sustainable future’. SE’s focus would be to identify investment that can deliver on both targeted regeneration priorities and on enhancing the competiveness of Scotland’s key sectors, connecting regeneration need to economic opportunity.
The Board commended the paper and the proposed approach.
Allan McQuade outlined current issues arising from the uncertainty of URC funding beyond 2011/12 and sought Board approval to allow SE the flexibility to commit a level of funding for 2012/13. This was to support approvals that, by the nature of the project, would require commitment to contracts beyond one year. Total commitment of this nature was anticipated to be a maximum of £4million.
Board approval was given to commit a maximum of £4million from the anticipated allocation for URC funding, conditional on discussion with Scottish Government colleagues making it clear that, in the light of the current one year funding agreement for URCs, this flexibility would require a back to back commitment from the Scottish Government.
4.3 RISK UPDATE
Lena Wilson outlined the current highest risks affecting Scottish Enterprise with Members invited to provide further input on any additional issues which might represent a significant risk. The risks as outlined were agreed subject to the potential impact of the next Comprehensive Spending review being graded at a higher level of risk than noted.
5 BOARD COMMITTEE UPDATES
The following papers were noted.
5.1 MINUTES OF THE SE BOARD ECONOMIC POLICY COMMITTEE HELD ON 1 APRIL 2011- SEBEPC(M)(11)01
5.2 MINUTES OF THE SE BOARD NOMINATIONS & GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 6 MAY 2011 – SEBNGC(M)20
The minutes of these meetings were noted.
5.3 SCOTTISH ENTEPRISE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE STATEMENT – SE(11)91
This paper presented a formal statement of SE’s governace, summarising key accountabilities and responsibilities. It had been developed at the recommendation of Internal Audit and would incorporate part of ongoing Board member induction.
6 PAPERS FOR INFORMATION
Scottish Parliament – Engagement Approach
|Offshore Wind Quarterly Report – Quarter 4 2010/11
|Freedom of Information Annual Report SE(11)8
|Global, UK and Scottish Economic Commentary
|Monthly Update – Operations, Company Growth, Innovation and Infrastructure
|Monthly Update – Operations, Sectors & Commercialisation
|Monthly Update – Business Networks & Communications
|Monthly Update – Strategy & Economics
|Monthly Update - SDI
|Approvals Within Delegated Authority
|Complaints & Testimonials
|Forward Events and Summary of Events in past month
These papers were noted.
The revised stakeholder engagement approach was recorded as helpful.
The positive results reported in the Offshore Wind quarterly report were welcomed.
Members noted the level of Freedom of Information requests processed in the year. The demand on staff time would be monitored and reported back to the Board.
Head of Corporate Office