Business Innovation

Business Innovation

Iain Gray CBE, FRSEWith a track record of promoting commercialisation from the academic base and a Fellowship which includes many of Scotland's key opinion formers, drawn from the business and academic communities,  the RSE set up a Business Innovation Forum to identify and stimulate processes that will increase business Innovation investment and to suggest how appropriate strategies should be developed in Scotland.

The Forum was launched at the Scottish Parliament on 28 January 2010.  It is chaired by RSE Vice-President Iain Gray (right).

Purpose of the Business Innovation Forum

Its remit is to:

  • Identify and propose mechanisms to encourage growth of innovation in companies in Scotland.
  • Identify and propose mechanisms by which business in Scotland could make better use of the research base to stimulate economic growth.
  • Act as an independent body, to advocate these mechanisms to the Scottish Government and to other bodies with relevant responsibilities and capacities;
  • Interact with other bodies concerned with the operation of the research base and with economic and business development in Scotland;
  • Where appropriate, to publish reports, to create work groups and other activities to pursue its objectives, activities which may include members outwith the Forum.


Since its launch, the Forum has published the following papers:

Independent Review of the Innovation Centres Programme (June 2016)

Digital Solutions to the Productivity Puzzle: Joint report with SCDI, Scotland IS and BT Scotland (January 2016)

Entrepreneurial Education in Scotland (June 2015)

The Supply of Growth Capital for Emerging, High Potential companies in Scotland (June 2014)

The Financing of Business Innovation in Scotland (October 2012)

Innovation Friendly Scotland (December 2010)

Digital Scotland (October 2010)

Recent and Current Activities

The Business Innovation Forum is currently consulting with RSE Fellows with a view to preparing a response to the Scottish Government Enterprise & Skills Review Call for Evidence. This will be completed by 15 August 2016.

Initial discussions have also taken place with the partners involved in the Digital Solutions paper to explore whether further work should be undertaken to maintain the momentum towards the ambition of Scotland becoming a world-class digital nation. 

Enterprise Fellowships

Since being established in 1997, the RSE Enterprise Fellowship scheme has supported more than 180  researchers to develop and launch new businesses, with companies formed across a wide range of fields – from tidal energy generation and safety systems  for the oil and gas industry, to insect repellents and communication solutions for sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Enterprise Fellowship Awards are specifically designed to support academic researchers in becoming outstanding entrepreneurs. Enterprise Fellows get access to the most up-to-date training in entrepreneurial skills, delivered to the highest standard of international excellence by individuals who have a proven track record of commercial success. Awardees are further supported to establish and grow their businesses via one year’s salary and business development funding to cover costs associated with attending conferences and trade shows.

If you would like any further information about the RSEs Enterprise Fellowships, please contact Anne Fraser or phone  0131 240 5013

Forum Membership

Professor Iain Gray CBE, FRSE
Professor Timothy Bedford FRSE
Ms Donna Chisholm
Mr Edward Cunningham CBE, FRSE
Dr Richard Dixon FRSE
Mr Gordon Eadie
Dr Olga Kozlova
Ms Shonaig Macpherson CBE, FRSE
Professor Donald MacRae OBE, FRSE
Dr Jano Van Hemert
Ms Judy Wagner
Professor Alan Alexander OBE, FRSE, FAcSS
Dr William Duncan
Mrs Anne Fraser
Mr Bristow Muldoon 

Contact Details

Should you wish to request any further information about the Business Innovation Forum, please contact Bristow Muldoon or phone  0131 240 2787


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