Innovation Strategy - Call for Evidence

Closed 21 Jun 2022

Opened 25 May 2022



The 21/22 Programme for Government confirmed that Scottish Government will develop and deliver an Innovation Strategy.  This provides an opportunity to build on the National Strategy for Economic Transformation and other recent work such as the Muscatelli Report, The Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board report on innovation, and the UK Government’s Innovation Strategy.

Why are we requesting your input?

We would like to gather views from a range of organisations and individuals to ensure that the Strategy is successful in our vision to become a world leading, innovation nation and to utilise innovation to grow our economy, create jobs and deliver priority outcomes.  

What happens next?

The responses to this document will be collated and considered before policy decisions are made. This work will inform the development of the Scottish Government’s Innovation Strategy, which is due to be published later this year.

The Strategy

We are developing a ten-year vision to transform Scotland’s innovation ecosystem in order to ensure that our businesses, people and institutions are ready to meet the global economic challenges and opportunities we face over the next 10 years.

For the Innovation Strategy to be effective it should deliver the following outcomes:

  • Set out the Scottish Government’s ten-year vision for innovation – to become a world leading, innovation nation - and how innovation can be used to grow the economy and deliver priority outcomes: creating jobs, net zero, and a wellbeing economy.
  • Look at what can be learned from best practise models around the world and how other countries have developed innovation ecosystems that drive their economy.
  • Assess the existing barriers and considers what improvements in the architecture and infrastructure can be made.
  • Make clear, ambitious and achievable recommendations around what policy interventions and investments are required and how these should be prioritised to ensure that Scotland’s citizens and businesses are supported and empowered to play a leading role in engaging with the innovation challenges and opportunities over the next decade.
  • A model for measuring progress, ensuring that we are delivering progress and improvements, creating jobs and opportunities across the country, bringing in investment and building excellence across our sectors and sub-sectors.

To achieve this vision, we are focussing on the following five thematic areas:

  1. World leading excellence and expertise - We will identify and promote a small number of innovative technologies and sectors in which Scotland has clear potential to lead the world. We will then put these technologies and sectors at the heart of our investment plans.
  2. Investing in innovative businesses - We will adopt an investor mindset to supporting our most innovative businesses – investing where we have a competitive advantage and providing a comprehensive and joined up package of support.
  3. Adoption and diffusion of technology - We will rapidly increase the rate and scale at which innovations are adopted in Scotland – by businesses, by communities, and by the public sector – boosting productivity and wellbeing across our whole economy and society.
  4. Role of the public sector and procurement - We will harness the full power of government to drive innovation through our economy, with the public sector acting as lead customer for innovative Scottish suppliers, and by adopting and ‘innovate first’ approach to broader government agendas.
  5. Innovation infrastructure and architecture - We will support and challenge our R&D and innovation institutions and infrastructure to deliver the outcomes set by this strategy. Where our innovation architecture is not working, we will take the necessary decisions to fix it.

Each of these themes will also consider people and culture, how we can ensure that we have the right framework of skills and training and education to support people to progress across the country into good jobs and to build businesses

Economic Evidence Paper

The Economic Evidence Paper in the "Related Documents" section provides a summary of the theory and selected evidence in relation to innovation in Scotland to provide context for stakeholders in responding to this Call for Evidence.


  • Economy