Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland is set to become an ‘innovation nation’ thanks to a new funding package which will help Scottish businesses develop almost 1,000 new inventions, products and services.

The measure is the next key step in the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy which focuses on investment, innovation, internationalisation and inclusive growth.

The £78 million fund will be available to business between now and 2018 and will offer a bespoke support service of financial support and specialist advice.

The fund is also expected to allow an extra 1,200 businesses to work directly with our universities.

In a key note address at an SCDI event for 80 key business leaders, she said:“Our economic strategy focuses on the ‘four I’s’ -Investing in our people, Innovation, Inclusive Growth and Internationalisation.

“Promoting innovation is an incredibly powerful way of creating a sustainably prosperous society. For example, the innovation support Scottish Enterprise provided just last year will generate additional economic activity worth more than £650 million between now and 2018.

“Now, we want to do even more. I can announce today that the Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies have created a new package of support for innovation worth £78 million over the next three years.

“In total, we expect to see businesses develop 1,000 commercial products which are new to their firm – or perhaps even more importantly, completely new to the market place as a whole.

“Those new products will differ in terms of their importance and their impact – but our overall intention is clear. We want to support ambitious and innovative companies in every corner of Scotland. And we want those companies to develop and profit from new products, which improve the wellbeing of individuals around the world.”