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Interim evaluation of ProspeKT


In September 2005 the Scottish Enterprise (SE) Board agreed to a £5m investment in ProspeKT, a programme to support ‘enhanced commercialisation activities’ at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics. The programme aims to influence the interaction and engagement between academics, industry, entrepreneurs and investors, and thus maximise the economic and commercial benefits of the School. The evaluation reviews the extent to which ProspeKT is delivering against its targeted activities and objectives and makes recommendations for improvements.


The research comprised: a review of all project documentation; a review of monitoring and spend information; a review of policy documentation and existing research around commercialisation and enterprise; consultations with stakeholders, ProspeKT’s Business Development Executives (BDEs) and 13 businesses who have come into contact with ProspeKT; and a review of approaches to commercialisation in a selection of comparator universities.


ProspeKT has delivered an extremely diverse programme of activity. The quality of activity has been high and extremely well received by stakeholders who have regularly praised the energy and enthusiasm of the ProspeKT programme. Its key activities have been delivered in line with the contract set out between the university and SE in 2006, and all contractual obligations in relation to staffing, match-funding and monitoring are being met. Significant progress has been made towards its objectives and the overall aim to maximise the economic and commercial benefits of the School. Substantial progress has been made with regard to the three funding tracks: Knowledge Transfer, People and Culture and PR, Brand and Public Outreach. The impacts of ProspeKT in terms of GVA creation has not be estimated as part of this evaluation, as it is too early for substantive GVA impacts to have been realised. In terms of creating new businesses and employment however, ProspeKT has helped create 13 start-ups and created three spin-outs to date. Operationally, there have been relatively few issues in how ProspeKT has been delivered.


The evaluation suggests that, while ProspeKT has made substantial progress in the two and a half years of operational delivery, there is a need for some re-focussing within the ProspeKT programme to maximise the economic impact and take account of the new economic and strategic landscape. A number of recommendations are made in order to achieve this.

Author Gen Consulting
Published Year 2010
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies