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Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme: evaluation and options appraisal - phase 1 report


The goals of the Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (EPIS) was set up to increase innovation and commercialisation of new technologies to boost productivity and to concentrate on technology-based start-ups with high growth potential, through the provision of business support.


The evaluation took a snapshot of the scheme at the mid-point of its third year. Internal and external views of EPIS were considered: the internal from interviews with EPIS and ERI staff, academic hosts and business mentors; the external from interviews with client entrepreneurs and staff from Twente University in the Netherlands (which contributed to the development of the EPIS model). The authors also drew upon good practice from their own knowledge, and consulted a wide range of internal and external documents.


Conclusions from the evaluation included the following: EPIS provides a valuable service to business start-ups; feedback from clients and stakeholders confirmed the value of the scheme; and the level of private sector funding of EPIS companies strongly indicates the commercial quality of the intervention and the value for money that the scheme is achieving for SEEL


It was recommended that: EPIS should continue past its four year timeline for a further two years, to provide for the anticipated increase in local business start-ups; EPIS should be scaled up within the University of Edinburgh environment to support more applicants to support more applicants, widen the hosting opportunities and improve the creation of jobs and businesses in the region; and the pre-incubator model should be used to provide wider support for new business creation across Scotland.

Author Ian Eddison; Chris Leebetter; Tom Empson (Scientific Generics Limited)
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Company specific
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
    Company building