£45,000 awarded to business-academic inward investment activity

18th January 2023

Five business-academic research projects have been awarded almost £45,000 funding from the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund.

The fund was set up by Interface and Scottish Government to support businesses not yet located in Scotland to work with Scottish academic institutions. As well as funding research and development it provides an opportunity for the business to establish relationships and offers insight into Scotland as a great place to invest.

The funded projects are:

Dutch aircraft manufacturer Cormorant SEAplanes BV and Robert Gordon University are awarded £9,978 to investigate the use of lightweight materials for an innovative electric aircraft designed for short take-off and landing.

UK and US-based Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd, manufacturer of energy storage batteries, with University of St Andrews are awarded £5,000 for a feasibility study into a rechargeable battery storage system which can then be bench marked against alternative solutions.

London-based tech company Geotourist, and University of Dundee are awarded £10,000 to develop further insight into their platform and the economic and societal impacts for the tourism sector both in a Scottish and international context.

Belfast-based healthtech company Take Ten Ltd and Edinburgh Napier University are awarded £9,998 to develop their digital stress management tool into new markets and assessing requirement for the products to be successfully adopted by potential market-users.

Smartify, a tech company working with museums and galleries across the world, and the University of the West of Scotland are awarded £9,834 for a proof of concept for developing their immersive technologies platforms to enable scale-up of their products.

The fund was launched in 2021 as part of the Scottish Government’s Inward Investment Plan. Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee, said:  

“It is excellent to see the success of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund in attracting high-quality and innovative projects, aligned with the key areas of the Inward Investment Plan and our ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

“This funding highlights the strengths and expertise of our internationally recognised universities, encouraging potential investors to grow their businesses here in Scotland.

“These partnerships are also helping to lay the foundations that will support economic growth in Scotland resulting in the potential for creating high-skilled jobs.”

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager, Interface, said: “The catalyst funding is a valuable way to kickstart relationships. We see examples of projects from last year leading on to funded PhD Studentships and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships which deepen the business-academic relationship and help to create opportunities for inward investment in Scotland.”

All the funded projects will support a net zero, health and wellbeing economy with the principles of fair work and sustainable, inclusive growth, and are part of the Scottish Government’s Inward Investment Plan, which articulates the important role that inward investment can play in Scotland’s economic growth and in delivering net zero ambitions.

Interface connects businesses from all sectors to Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, Interface is a free and impartial service which aims to stimulate demand for innovation and help companies to collaborate with academics to solve business challenges.