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Evaluation of the Electronics Market Diversification Programme


The Electronics Market Diversification Programme began as an idea put forward by the director of Electronics Scotland, who believed that such a programme would make an important contribution to Scotland’s electronics manufacturing sector. Growth sectors were identified by Scottish Enterprise (SE) and an Electronics Action Plan was developed jointly by SE, the Scottish Executive and Electronics Scotland in 2001. The Programme itself was launched in 2003. This evaluation was conducted in mid-2004.


There were four main elements to the evaluation method: desk research into the background and objectives of the Programme; interviews with the consultants on the Programme’s delivery and interaction with assisted firms; interviews with SE account managers; and a survey of six assisted firms.


The following findings were presented: demand for the Programme was based on anecdotal, rather than research evidence; some participating firms had expectations of the Programme that were not met; some firms were disappointed with the approach taken by one consultant in particular; detailed market information tailored to each firm was not given; the diversification assistance given was not sufficiently specialist; all firms but one appear to have been appropriate selections for the aims of the Programme; consultants did not follow the proposed approach as closely as they might have; the impact of the Programme was disappointing; the Global Companies Programme proved to be more effective; the need for a dedicated programme and the rationale for charging firms to participate were questioned; the programme was offered at a time when many companies were not in a position to take up the offer and take-up was therefore low; and account managers had little contact with consultants.


The following recommendations were made: SE should properly research the demand for future programmes; SE should make clear to participating firms the nature of the assistance on offer; SE should formally raise any issues with consultants; diversification assistance should include expert input; assistance should be specific and targeted, with more general advice being provided through other funding streams; firms selected should have the resources available to dedicate to the process; consultants should follow the proposed approach with clients, only deviating with the permission of SE; the Programme should be merged with the Global Companies Programme;

Author Unknown
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses