Innovative, International Tay

Innovative, International Tay

Innovation is recognised as the most effective route to productivity growth. Moreover, there is a proven link between businesses that meet their international ambitions and those that choose to innovate. Scotland’s innovation record is currently below the ambition of the Scottish Government for Scotland to be a first quartile OECD country.

It is estimated that in order to close the gap, Scotland needs to encourage an additional 1,800 actively innovating businesses and increase the volume of business R&D by around £1.8bn. In 2015, businesses in our region accounted for just 6% of Scotland’s total business expenditure on R&D, with businesses investing around £56m. If business R&D were to match the area’s proportionate share of economic output as it stands, approximately £11m of additional business R&D spend would be required.

Moreover, as part of Scotland’s ambition to move from the third quartile of OECD economies to the first, it needs to encourage an additional 2,500 additional business to export and increase overseas sales by around £3.4bn. To contribute to our share of this increased target we would need to find and encourage around 230 more exporters generating additional export sales of around £300m.

Through this regional economic strategy, and the supporting Tay Cities Deal, we will support more business to innovate and to trade internationally. In addition to supporting all businesses across all sectors to do this, we have also identified nine specific growth opportunities with the potential to deliver significant productivity improvements in the region as well as, over time, new skilled jobs. The Tay Cities Deal Proposal makes the case for specific investment to deliver these growth opportunities.

Our approach will be focused on a number of key types of support across these nine growth opportunities to support businesses to innovate, internationalise, diversify and grow. We want our region to be recognised as a living lab for exploring new ways of working and new ways of doing things.

By working together across our region in partnership with the Scottish and UK Governments we will address some of the existing barriers to growth for companies within these sectors and our approach will include:

  • support for collaborative partnerships between businesses, academia, research organisations and the public sector
  • the development of multi-functional creative spaces, which could be real or virtual, to support commercialisation, cooperation and collaboration
  • support for collaborative approaches to training, research and development
  • enhanced and sector specific business development support
  • investment to improve key products and services