The RSE has submitted a response to the Scottish Government Enterprise & Skills Agencies. The Review recognised the need to increase sustainable economic growth in Scotland and called for evidence on how four agencies in particular should best contribute to this aim: the Scottish Funding Council (SFC); Scottish Enterprise (SE); Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE); and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). Between them these agencies have a budget of over £2.1 billion (2014/15), with the overall Scottish economy being valued at £142 billion in 2015.
On issuing the response, Professor Alan Alexander, RSE General Secretary commented, “We recognise that in some key aspects of economic performance the record of Scotland is not strong. In particular, our business investment in R & D lags well behind the UK, EU and OECD averages. We are in the third quartile for productivity; and there are problems in the availability of growth capital for emerging high-potential companies.”
“We believe that the starting point in this process is that the Scottish Government sets out a clear, consistent and quantifiable economic strategy. The enterprise agencies should then align their activities and programmes to contribute towards the achievement of this strategy. These should then be subjected to objective analysis of what has worked and what hasn’t.”
“Boosting economic performance is not within the gift of Government or their agencies on their own; however their actions can make a difference. Scotland needs to encourage and nurture the entrepreneurial skills of the many talented innovators that we still have, seeking to match the success of the giants of Scottish innovation and research.”