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Review of Scotland Europa EU R&D Funding Service


Scotland Europa’s European Union (EU) Research and Development (R&D) Funding Support Service was launched in 2009 in order to stimulate wider engagement of Scottish organisations in the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for R&D, and ultimately, to generate economic impacts for Scotland. The main objectives of the study were: to carry out a strategic review of the Scotland Europa EU R&D Funding Support Services and identify areas for improvement; and to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for ongoing tracking of the service and its impact on the Scottish economy.


The study was conducted in four stages and comprised a broad mix of consultations with project management, strategic partners and stakeholders; desk based review of background strategies, reports and performance monitoring data; and case studies of the experiences of four target beneficiaries.


The overall conclusion is that the service has proven itself to be of value and has a strong rationale for intervention. The consultations and background research strongly confirmed a consensus that the service fits well with Scotland’s strategic direction to improve levels of engagement of businesses in both R&D and collaborative R&D in order to increase the competitiveness of the business base. In terms of the rationale for intervention, the service can be justified on efficiency and equity grounds. There is an established body of evidence on the nature of market failures preventing companies from being involved in R&D activity and the efficiency arguments include issues such as imperfect information, asymmetric information and positive externalities. Regarding equity, Scotland is recognised to have low levels of Business Enterprise R&D expenditure relative to other UK nations and regions as well as international peers. The review found that there remain significant barriers to Scottish companies engaging with FP7, including cost, technical expertise and access to information and networks. The service has filled a gap in provision, and is generally providing services which are highly valued both by target beneficiaries and partners. Its success, however, depends on strong linkages with a number of organisations, crucially Scottish Enterprise (SE), National Contact Points (NCPs) and Enterprise Europe Scotland (EES). Overall, good progress has been made in establishing roles and responsibilities and developing good working relationships. The project delivery team is also developing a reputation for providing high quality dedicated, knowledgeable and proactive support.


The review recommended that: the service should be continued; procedures for engaging companies to maximise coordination with SE Industry Teams should be reviewed; focus should be continued on internal communications within SE, and the more formal development of cooperation strategies with industry groups/teams should be considered; and SE/Scotland Europa should investigate the need for additional resource and the formation of a strategy to encourage increased networking within Europe.

Author EKOS Ltd
Published Year 2011
Report Type Evaluation
  • Innovation
    Business innovation