Mr Mark Dolan, country manager, Scottish Development International (SDI), India
Scottish Development International (SDI), the international arm of the Scottish Government responsible for developing and strengthening trade and investment between Scotland and the rest of the world, is dedicated to promote economic development in Scotland and is the single point-of-contact globally for businesses looking to make a successful move to Scotland. SDI provides active support for all areas of life sciences, including grants and other financial incentives. The life sciences sector in Scotland continues to flourish in the face of challenging economic times. Over the past year, the government's financial assistance and R&D grants totaling £9.2 million, have been accepted for projects in the sector with planned capital expenditure of £58.5 million. In 2010, Scottish companies secured equity investment totaling over £36 million, which is evidence of the fact that Scotland is a very attractive international location for life sciences businesses. There is a strong collaboration between business and the life sciences research base in Scotland and the government is committed to enhance the same.
Excerpts of the interview.
What kind of support is the government of Scotland offering to the life sciences companies that are looking at making inroads in Scotland?
Companies looking at Scotland to invest in the life sciences space can expect to receive business and strategic advice and support in developing crucial networks and contacts across Scotland. The support from SDI is not only advisory but extends to helping companies in identifying and accessing funding and grants if needed.
SDI can help life sciences companies to access a number of financial schemes to set up and develop their business in Scotland. For instance, the Regional Grants Assistance scheme can pay 15-30 percent of the average worker's salary for the first two years or the initial capital investment. Depending on the nature of the investment , we can tailor the financial package that can benefit the company. I would encourage business representatives to talk to us and find out how best they can leverage these incentives.
What form of investments have been brought into Scotland from India-based life sciences companies?
Scotland is home to many large multinationals including Quintiles, Charles River Laboratories, Life Technologies, Alere, GlaxoSmithKline, Ethicon and LifeScan Scotland (both Johnson & Johnson companies) and EMD Millipore. Over the past five years, over 100 new life science companies have been established in Scotland, reflecting the entrepreneurial culture and rich stream of innovative product and service ideas.