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Evaluation of Scottish Enterprise Large Company R&D Plus Scheme


Scottish Enterprise’s (SE’s) R&D (research and development) Plus Scheme was set up in 2003 to encourage industrial research and pre-competitive development among large companies by providing grants. The evaluation aimed to investigate the scheme’s direct benefits, its wider social and environmental benefits and any delivery issues that arose.


A range of information sources were consulted, including SE Gateway approval papers, the R&D Plus Product User Guide, the Due Diligence reports by project and the recent Internal Audit report. Consultations were undertaken with a selection of Local Enterprise Company (LEC) account managers, LEC chief executives/area directors, external contractors, Scottish Government staff and beneficiary companies.


Figures show that the scheme has provided good value for money so far and has resulted in a significant incentive effect through the creation and retention of net additional high quality R&D jobs and the creation of wealth throughout the local and Scottish economies. Attitudes and approaches to R&D and innovation have seen a positive change as a result of the scheme, as has the Scottish knowledge economy. The scheme was managed flexibly. It is a unique scheme which has filled a gap in the provision of public sector support to large multi-national companies located in Scotland. Overall, the scheme was rated ‘excellent’ by 42% of respondent companies and ‘good’ by 50%.


The scheme was recommended to: keep in sight opportunities to support the larger mobile investor market; work with the Scottish Innovation System to achieve a more joined-up approach to innovation in Scotland; consider how it might be promoted more within the service sector; help participating companies to identify local supplier opportunities; devise and disseminate a simple set of explanatory notes for the scheme’s criteria and application, monitoring and legal processes; share good practice and provide ongoing technical support for less experienced LEC account managers; and track a number of performance indicators annually.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Innovation
    Business innovation, Innovation system