£100,000 boost to business-academic inward investment

Richard Lochhead - Inward Investment Catalyst Fund
6th June 2023

The Scottish Government have approved £100,000 of funding to support inward investment into Scotland through establishing relationships between businesses and academia.

The Inward Investment Catalyst Fund has been developed by Interface and the Scottish Government to attract businesses from out with Scotland to collaborate with academic institutions on their research and development activity.  The intention is that the companies develop insights, relationships, and opportunities to invest in Scotland and ultimately create jobs.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Richard Lochhead, said: “Inward investment is a fundamentally important part of our economic plan for growth, aligning to the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

“The Inward Investment Catalyst Fund is playing a part in linking up businesses with the expertise offered by Scotland’s world class universities and academia, and has already resulted in a variety of highly innovative projects.

“I am pleased that the Scottish Government will be continuing to support the Fund this year, and expect this new call for applications to kick-start more exciting partnerships to encourage potential investors to set-up their businesses in Scotland and support Scotland’s economic growth, with the potential for creating high-value jobs.”

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager at Interface, said: “The catalyst funding has proven an invaluable resource to initiate business-academic relationships which bring value to the Scottish economy. We have already seen projects develop into long-term relationships giving fresh opportunities to academics as well as companies registering and basing staff in Scotland.”

Since the fund was launched in 2021 there have been 15 collaborations between Scottish academics and businesses from seven countries including Romania, South Africa, the United States and Finland. They span an array of sectors including aerospace, energy, construction, health and wellbeing, and finance.

Case study 1: Evolve Hydrogen Ltd and University of Strathclyde

Through the fund, U.S. company Evolve Hydrogen Ltd. accessed electrochemical expertise at University of Strathclyde to develop green hydrogen production using seawater. Academic expertise has furthered the development of the technology and will support their Scottish ventures.

Case study 2: Ecomar Propulsion and the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS), University of Strathclyde.

Ecomar Propulsion, who make electric outboard motors from their base in Fareham, England, collaborated with NMIS when a supply chain manufacturer ceased supplying products, leaving a major gap in the market. Through the collaboration, opportunities were identified to explore additional supply chain opportunities and manufacturing routes in Scotland for Ecomar Propulsion’s full product range.

For more information about the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst fund please visit

The deadline for applications is 5pm Thursday 27 July 2023.