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R&D Grant Evaluation


Scottish Enterprise’s (SE’s) R&D Grant programme is a discretionary, single company grant that supports businesses to undertake development of new products or processes to the pre-production prototype stage through discretionary grants of up to 25% of eligible project costs. The evaluation assesses the impact of the programme to date, looking specifically at 55 large R&D awards made between 2004 and 2009 under either SE’s large company R&D Grant (R&D Plus) or since April 08, through SE’s R&D Grant programme. A full economic impact assessment was included.


The methodology consisted of a detailed review of policy, an assessment of market failure, a series of stakeholder interviews and in depth consultation with 36 companies.


The evaluation concluded that there is a strong strategic case for continued and increased support for R&D Grant funding and that the R&D Grant will make a substantial contribution to economic development activity in Scotland. With companies committing the majority of funding, there is a good maximisation of resources. All stakeholders were in agreement that the intervention was well managed with scope to refine and streamline the processes in order to speed up approvals. There was strong belief that the programme has had an impact on firms’ R&D capacity and spend, their turnover and employment, and therefore that it is having a positive impact on the wider economy. Already the R&D Grant has produced extensive company benefits and created a platform for generation or enhancement of company competency or knowledge in relation to R&D. With regard to spillover benefits, to date these are minimal, occurring predominantly at the knowledge and market levels and not at the network level. Overall, the programme presents good value for money, despite the high levels of initial investment required.


It was recommended that support be continued and increased and the number of companies supported also increased, while taking into account a number of considerations for improving on the current programme.

Author Frontline Consultants
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses