Inward investment support boosted by £50,000 for business-academic collaborations

Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade

RESEARCH into the relationship between financial vulnerability and mental health, and the development of a portable system for monitoring hormonal fluctuations, are among the latest projects to have been backed by a national inward investment fund.

The announcement coincides with the opening of a new round of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund to support inward investment into Scotland through establishing relationships between businesses and academia.  

Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, Richard Lochhead, said: “The latest round of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund has once again attracted diverse and innovative projects, with the expertise and support of our highly regarded universities and academia playing a significant role in attracting potential investors to consider Scotland and apply for the funding.

“The successful projects not only align with the ambitions of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation but also with the Inward Investment Plan’s key opportunity areas. I am pleased that applications for a further round of funding has launched and encourage all interested businesses with innovative projects to apply for the funding.

“Our new Programme for Government re-iterates the Scottish Government’s commitment to attracting overseas businesses to invest in Scotland, which this year was once again named the number one area of the UK outside London for inward investment projects. Through the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund and a range of other investment opportunities and initiatives, we will continue to build on this position as we develop a greener, fairer, wellbeing economy.”

Howell Davies, Sector Engagement Manager at Interface, said: “This was another excellent round of applications with good potential for these companies to base and scale their operations here in Scotland using the excellent support and world class academic community to help accelerate that journey.”

The last round of the fund resulted in 5 projects being awarded up to £10,000 each. 

The five funded projects are:

Serene (England) and University of St Andrews, awarded £10,000 for a project using financial data to identify the financial vulnerabilities and associated psychological stress in young adults. The research aims to uncover financial patterns indicative of both existing vulnerabilities and early-warning signs.

CCTV video analytics company Graymatics (Singapore) and University of Strathclyde, awarded £9,990 to develop smart audio module software, to be integrated into the existing Graymatics’ video surveillance product. This will enable their system to accurately identify and track objects, even in challenging environments.

Reaforma Ltd (England) and University of Strathclyde, awarded £10,000 to develop the company’s carbon-negative geopolymer construction composite.

Salop Design & Engineering Ltd (England) and University of Strathclyde, awarded £9,993 to conduct a life cycle assessment of energy-efficient and environment-friendly technology for producing single-sheet titanium components used in the aerospace industry.

viO HealthTech (England and U.S.) and Heriot-Watt University, awarded £9,500 to develop a portable system for monitoring hormone levels to help with conception, pregnancy, menopause, and conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Since 2021 the fund has supported 20 companies out with Scotland on projects in partnership with Scottish academic institutions, across a range of disciplines. Several of the collaborations have led to companies having a physical presence in Scotland, including Smartify, Evolve Hydrogen and Evolve Metals (formerly Neocycl). Work carried out and networks made have supported conversations with enterprise agencies, local authorities, and Green Free Ports for developing operations and investing here.

The deadline for the next round of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund is 17th November, 2023. Information and applications form can be found here.

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