Scottish Enterprise (SE) has revealed that companies will achieve an additional £658 million in revenue over the next three years, through its innovation support during 2014/15. This has more than doubled compared to the figures from the previous year, demonstrating year on year progress in encouraging more companies to be innovative and embrace a culture of continual innovation for business growth.

Commenting on the results, Jim Watson, director of innovation and enterprise for Scottish Enterprise, said: “We know that investment in innovation and R&D leads to business growth, increased productivity, greater opportunities and a globally competitive edge, making it crucial to the long-term success of the Scottish economy. In fact, innovation accounts for some two-thirds of all the productivity in the economy.

“What is more, evidence shows that innovative companies grow nearly twice as fast in terms of sales than non-innovators, create more jobs and are more attractive to investors.

“As the world becomes closer, more connected and more competitive, companies need to do more and go further to ensure they are not left behind. At Scottish Enterprise, we believe that innovation should be more than just an ‘add-on’ or a ‘nice-to-have’ for businesses. It should be the core culture of companies that strive for growth. It’s our role then, to work with companies to help them become more innovative by developing new products and services, streamlining processes or adapting business models – recognising that innovation is more successful if it is focused on international markets.

“These latest figures are testament to our ongoing commitment to increasing innovation. What we need now is for more companies to embrace new ideas and new ways of doing things, and follow the likes of Alexander Denis Limited in using innovative approaches to realise growth ambitions.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Our vision is to make Scotland a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation. That’s why we have put innovation at the heart of our Government Economic Strategy and the Programme for Government, to drive long term competitiveness, boost productivity and increase sustainable economic growth.

“These results show that increasing numbers of companies are recognising the benefits of investing in innovation, reaping the rewards and contributing to the Scottish economy.”

2014/2015 has also seen some significant elements of SE’s longer-term strategy put in place, including continued support for the establishment of eight new Innovation Centres. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, the innovation centres aim to encourage business growth that takes advantage of Scotland’s world-class strengths in research within Scotland’s universities, and drive forward change in some of Scotland’s major sector opportunities such as advanced manufacturing, big data, stratified medicine and industrial biotechnology.