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Evaluation of Small Company Innovation Support (March 2002 – May 2005)


Small Company Innovation Support (SCIS) provides vital financial support for projects that lead to the development and introduction of new products and processes. It is limited to companies with less than 250 employees (SMEs). The evaluation aimed to determine the: type of SMEs assisted (new or existing, sector, size); the nature of projects supported through SCIS; the level of private sector leverage; the outputs achieved (in terms new products launched and intellectual property registrations; and the impact on employment; impact on turnover).


Eight of the eleven companies supported over the period were interviewed by telephone, and answered questions relating to the impact that the SCIS grant had on their business. Of the other three companies one company was found to be dissolved and two were un-contactable and presumed to have ceased trading.


The benefits the companies emphasised were that the SCIS grant allowed them to develop products quicker, to reduce the risk at attempting to produce new products, as well as supporting the process to patent ideas/products. There has been an increase in employment among the eight companies of 26.5 full time equivalent staff (an increase of 56%) as a direct result of the new products developed through SCIS assistance. Turnover rates also increased significantly. Companies were less likely to think that SCIS had an impact on business efficiency, but they felt SCIS had a very good impact on the long term strength of their business. The report concludes that the relevance to the business of the SCIS product is high, the employment and turnover impacts are positive, and the majority of companies are the type of knowledge based companies Forth Valley’s Economic Development Strategy is keen to foster. While the impacts are relatively modest on business efficiency the SCIS assistance has a high impact on the long term strength of the businesses involved. The only negative point was that three companies have since ceased trading and received approximately 38% of the total allocated to SCIS during this period. NB the economic impact calculations in this report do not wholly adhere to the Scottish Enterprise Economic Impact Assessment Guidance launched in 2006, therefore please treat these figures with caution. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you need more information.


No recommendations are made, but the report argues that in the case of the SCIS the benefits outweigh the risks of supporting such innovative projects.

Author GMcG Consultancy
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Innovation
    Business innovation