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Edinburgh Pre Incubation Scheme economic impact evaluation: final report


The Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (EPIS) aims to encourage and support innovation by facilitating direct collaboration between universities and entrepreneurs. The primary focus of this evaluation was to measure the economic impact of the EPIS project since its inception, based on the findings from the EPIS participant survey which was undertaken recently by Scottish Enterprise (SE).


The methodology included the assessment of the EPIS participant survey, interviews with key stakeholders and review of key background documentation on the scheme as well as wider research on early stage business support.


The evaluation concluded that the EPIS project: had a clear rationale for activity and fit with the policy environment, including a potential fit going forward with the new SE policy on innovation; has made strong progress in relation to targets and is broadly in line with expectations, though there does need to be improvements around business academic collaboration; appears to be working well and includes key critical success factors associated with excellence in the non physical elements of incubation support; generates values amongst the company base, including investment of £4.5 million, R&D spend of £2.6 million with strong revenue growth in a short space of time (over £10 million of gross sales between 2004 and 2008); has generated net GVA impact of £580,000 net present value (NPV), a cost benefit ratio of 1: 0.42; and has generated net turnover impact of £1.3 million NPV, a cost benefit ratio of 1: 0.96. Business and stakeholder feedback on the scheme was largely positive and it is clear that it is generating a wide range of value for SE and the University of Edinburgh around culture change, both amongst the academics and entrepreneurs, retention and attraction of talent, reputational benefits and wider networking benefits.


The only recommendation made is for the project manager to track and evidence progress, especially given the significant potential future impacts cited by companies.

Author Frontline Consultants
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies, Food and drink, Life Sciences