European and External Relations Committee calls on Scottish Executive to do more to improve investment in research and development


The Scottish Executive could do more to support the private sector to increase its investment in research and development, according to a report published today by the European and External Relations Committee.

The report, following the Committee’s inquiry into the European Commission’s strategy for growth and jobs, states that the Scottish Executive is performing well in relation to some targets, such as education and employment.

Read the report

The Committee recommends, however, that the Scottish Executive should provide more assistance to the private sector and universities to promote greater investment in research and development, including for FP7 funding, and encourage the development of innovation and commercialisation skills – the process by which the results of research projects are converted to marketable products or services.

The report also calls for clarification on the Scottish Executive’s role in relation to the UK fulfilling its obligations under the strategy.

Linda Fabiani, Committee Convener, said:

"The Committee welcomes the Scottish Executive’s progress in many areas included in the strategy. There are some areas, however, relating to research and development and innovation, where the Scottish Executive could go further to ensure that the aim of the strategy – to improve the competitiveness of the Europe an economy – is achieved in Scotland .”

The report is the latest example of the Committee’s engagement with the Europe an institutions, particularly the Europe an Commission.

Background Notes

The Lisbon strategy was launched by the European Council in 2000 and revised in 2005. It sets a number of targets to improve the competitiveness and effectiveness of the Europe an economy by 2010. The overall goals are to boost growth to three per cent, create up to 20 million new jobs and increase investment in research and development to three per cent of GDP with a particular emphasis on increasing private sector investment.

The Committee’s inquiry considered the Scottish Executive’s progress against those targets relating to research and development; innovation; education and skills and employment and the role of devolved administrations within the process.

FP7 funding is provided under the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. The programme is currently operating in its seventh funding period, between 2007 and 2013. Further information on FP7 can be found on the Europe an Commission’s web site :

Further information on the strategy can be found on the European Commission’s web site:

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