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Review of expert support products


Scottish Enterprise (SE) currently offers assistance to companies in the form of 10 expert support products (expert advice including: Innovation; ICT; Business Improvement) covering the following areas: ICT; business; innovation; design; collaboration; consortium; employee ownership; life sciences; offshore wind; and marketing. The aim of the review was to ensure that SE is delivering the ‘right’ products targeted at the ‘right’ businesses and sectors.


The methodology consisted of: a review of the strategic and policy environment in which the products are being delivered; and consultations in the form of two focus groups with SE staff in order to gather feedback on the engagement, usage and impact of the products.


The report identifies key findings in terms of: rationale; project definition; engagement; linkages; product offerings; commercialisation; and value for money. The key strengths of the expert support services were that the products provide a flexible and good introduction of SE to companies, and address information failure barriers for businesses, and that SE is seen as supporting the wider business base during difficult trading conditions. However, the product offering was found to be overly complicated, and project definition was seen as unhelpful to SE and business partners in identifying the most appropriate businesses to support.


Nine recommendations were made in order to support the future delivery of the expert support products. These were: clearly define who the products are designed to support/target; improve and refine the engagement process; rationalise the number of products; no significant changes should be made to the product assessment criteria; consideration should be given to how to best promote the products in order to maximise their potential impact; rationalise the Supplier Framework; follow up with supported companies; develop a web based engagement and follow up platform; and implement a more robust and flexible monitoring framework.

Author EKOS
Published Year 2012
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support, Support to existing/growth businesses