Business Support

Life science companies operating in Scotland benefit from a wealth of support for business growth.

Scotland’s two enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, provide dedicated strategic and financial support for our most ambitious companies through investment, international trade, business and product innovation and company growth. They also facilitate introduction to other specialist teams, including the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Scottish Investment Bank. Scottish Development International has over 40 offices across the world to assist Scottish businesses to target new markets.

Details of how to apply for each can be found in the links below. For those who already have a relationship with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Business Gateway then please discuss these with your account manager or advisor. For those who don’t, then please follow the links to learn more and find the relevant contact information.

For companies outside Scotland who are considering locating at a site in Scotland these incentives and support are also available once set up.


Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank offers a range of investment products to support growth of the private sector in Scotland across the entire lifecycle of a business.

Scottish Co-Investment Fund 

The Scottish Co-investment Fund (SCF) invests alongside accredited investment partners up to a maximum of 50% of the total funding package on a commercial basis from £10,000 up to £1.5 million, as part of a total deal size ranging from £20,000 up to £10 million.

Scottish Venture Fund 

Invests £500,000 to £2 million, alongside private sector partners, in company finance deals of between £2 million and £10 million.

Scottish Loan Fund

Provides loans ranging from £250,000 to £5 million on a commercial basis to businesses with growth potential or engaged in exporting outside Scotland. Criteria apply.


 SMART: Scotland

SMART: SCOTLAND provides grants to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Scotland. The grant helps you undertake technical feasibility studies and research and development (R&D) projects that have a commercial endpoint.

R&D Project Grants

Research and Development (R&D) Grant supports businesses developing new products, processes and services to improve company competitiveness and to benefit the Scottish economy. Whether your project aims to gather the knowledge and skills to develop new products and services, or to introduce a significant improvement to existing ones. Projects typically last 6 to 36 months and the grant can cover up to 50% of the project costs.

Collaborative R&D supports R&D projects which have two or more partners. There is no upper limit on funding and between 25-50% of eligible costs can be supported dependent on the project.

Seek & Solve

This grant is used to support a collaborative R&D project between a large company and a SME partner. There is no upper limit on funding.  A typical Seek & Solve project will last six to 36 months and our funding can cover up to 45% of your costs.  The grant supports new R&D and doesn’t cover the routine or periodic changes made to products, processes or services and other operations in progress, even if such changes may represent improvements.

Innovate UK  

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. The organisation works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. With a strong business focus, Innovate UK drives growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation.

Enterprise Europe Network Scotland

The Enterprise Europe Network Scotland helps Scottish businesses make the most of EU funding opportunities and business opportunities in the EU and beyond.


Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) 

The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service is focused on developing a culture of business excellence in all manufacturing companies in Scotland. Working with thousands of businesses, SMAS plays a vital role in helping manufacturers in Scotland to achieve success in an increasingly competitive global economy. Cost, quality and delivery performance, along with increased capacity, process improvements and enhanced staff morale are just some of the benefits that clients are now enjoying.


Various grants and funding options are available to businesses of all sizes for research and development, co-investment and technological innovations.

 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA)

RSA is the main investment grant scheme in areas of Scotland designated for regional aid under European Community law. RSA funding is available to create or safeguard jobs for both Scottish-owned businesses and inward investors, from large corporations to SMEs.

Patent Box

The Patent Box regime aims to provide tax incentives for innovative companies which retain and commercialise patented products in the UK. This incentive contributes to making the UK a competitive location for manufacturing and R&D. The Patent Box enables companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from its patented inventions. The relief will be phased in from 1 April 2013 and the lower rate of Corporation Tax to be applied will be 10%.

R&D Tax Credits 

Relief from UK corporation tax for revenue and capital expenditure on research and development together with additional tax credits that can be set against profits or received as a payment if a loss is incurred.


Get the know-how and confidence to trade successfully in international markets, with guidance from Scottish Development International (SDI) experts around the world.


Skills Support

Scottish Enterprise provides training and support to high growth companies based in Scotland

Skills Development Scotland

The Scottish Government Skills agency providing recruitment and training support