Category Archives: Funding

It pays to be greener

By Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Resource Efficiency, Zero Waste Scotland, and a judge of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018

Small and medium businesses can reduce energy costs and receive up to £10k cashback with the SME Loan. It’s a win-win.

By making energy efficiency improvements most businesses can cut their energy consumption by around a quarter, making a 25% saving on their energy bills. Continue reading

Softer skills do compute with industry engagement

Students brainstorming ideasBy Dr Bruce Sharlau, Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Bruce Sharlau

I’ve always been interested in the practical side of computing; the ‘how do I use this’ aspect of programming. I want to know how I can use the technology to make an impact on whatever project I’m developing. I carry this through in my teaching so that I find ways to bring the student learning experience closer to what students need to know to work in a software development role after graduation. This means finding ways to bring similar skills and opportunities to students. This has resulted in a range of opportunities that we offer to students.
These vary from using the same tools and technologies as professional developers, to group and individual projects with live clients under the Interface administered Innovation Voucher Scheme. Continue reading

Successful collaboration lights the way

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Innovation Voucher funding is paying dividends for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), which is staging its second Botanic Lights events this month (November).

The challenge for RBGE was: How do you attract more people, particularly families and children, to visit the garden during the dark winter days and nights?

The solution: Light them up!

Working with Edinburgh Napier University’s Malcolm Innes, from the Institute for Creative Industries: Centre for Design Practice and Research, the 2014 project was funded through a £5,000 Standard Innovation Voucher and Follow-On Innovation Voucher.

The illuminating event attracted more than 23,000 visitors last year, and has returned this year using state-of-the-art technology to create a unique night-time experience.

One early visitor to this year’s spectacle (developed in partnership with Unique Events and Black Light) was Anne Hamilton, Editor of online magazine Lothian Life, and her five year-old son.

Here is what she had to say about it…

Continue reading

Squeeze on chemical supplies  

Chemicals resized for web 5.8.2015

By Alistair Cameron, CEO, Scotmas Group

September 1, 2015, marks an important date for many small companies who manufacture chemical formulations across Europe, when Article 95 of the European Biocidal Products Regulations comes into force.

In this post Alistair Cameron, Managing Director at Scotmas Group, a company at the forefront of new innovations in the chemicals market, talks about effects of the regulations and the vital part research can play in this industry. Continue reading

Brewing success in Shetland

Kjol at Shetland Harbour

By Silke Reeploeg, Staff Researcher with the Centre for Nordic Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands

Earlier this year the University of the Highlands and Islands received funding from the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher Scheme to collaborate with the Lerwick Brewery in Shetland on a research and knowledge transfer project.  The aim of the project was to develop an ‘events range’ of beers to coincide with local events on Scotland’s northernmost island group.  Sounds good right?  The result was a fantastic, limited edition, beer inspired by the annual ‘Bergen-Shetland’ yacht race, which was launched during the race June. Continue reading

Colleges Scotland welcomes Innovation Voucher expansion


Colleges Scotland welcomes the expansion into the college sector of an established funding scheme which helps match entrepreneurial Scottish businesses with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Until now the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher Programme has only been available to create links between small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and Scotland’s HEIs. Continue reading

Keep investing in the best

ID-100288260 - railway track for blog

By David Watt, Director of IoD Scotland
As President Barack Obama said: “Ideas are what power our economy… When we invest in the best ideas before anybody else does, our businesses and our workers can make the best products and deliver the best services before anybody else.”

But when you consider UK spending on R&D is in decline and the 2014 Innovation Union Scoreboard classed the UK and an innovation ‘follower’ because it’s is not an ‘all-rounder’ in terms of innovation and the proportion of SMEs bringing innovations to market is well behind the EU average – are we on the right track?

Continue reading

The Innovation Challenge

By Professor Michael Gunn, Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of million+

Successive governments in the UK have lauded the role of research in creating economic growth. Investment in innovation is valued to the extent that the science and research budget has been ring-fenced in cash terms since 2010 when most other areas of government spending have been significantly reduced or removed altogether. Continue reading

Don’t let your great idea get washed away

By Lorna Watson, Business Engagement Executive, Tayside

Funding your business projects can sometimes be a bit like the Ice Bucket Challenge. You have a great idea and it’s washed away with a bucket of freezing water when you can’t find the right support to take your project forward!

However, don’t be disheartened as there are pots of funding up for grabs, and competitions with cash prizes, that could be used to match fund your project. Continue reading