Fresh funding is being made available to encourage overseas firms to set up their research and development operations in Scotland.

Following a successful pilot programme at the end of 2021, the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund will make a further five awards of up to £10,000 each to help foreign firms establish research and development partnerships with Scottish universities. Launched by the Scottish Government to support its overall inward investment strategy, the fund is run through Interface, the government-backed service that promotes collaboration between business and academia.

Earlier this year, six companies and universities were awarded £10,000 each. Among them was Romania's Therme Group, which is working with the University of Glasgow to establish a centre of “wellbeing excellence” as part of its plans to build a £100 million spa facility in the city.

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Scotland was the UK’s most attractive location for foreign direct investment outside London in 2021 with a 5.9 per cent increase in projects. This compares to a 12.1% decline across the UK.

Scottish business minister Ivan McKee said the figures show that Scotland’s economic potential is “huge”.

“We want to establish Scotland as a world-class entrepreneurial nation, with a culture that encourages, promotes, and celebrates entrepreneurial activity in every sector of our economy,” he said.

“As set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, we want to be dynamic and confident of our place in the world, where we can attract international investment in research and the industries of the future, the new phase of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund will support our ambitions.”