Connect to Funding & Investment

The abundance of innovation and translation of world leading research across Scotland attracts capital, equity and foreign direct investment in increasing amounts each year.  Furthermore, Scotland’s life sciences companies comprise 30% of Scottish Enterprise’s investment portfolio.

  • Scotland remains the leading UK location outside of London for global investment for the sixth time in the past seven years according to the EY Attractiveness Survey thanks to a foreign direct investment (FDI) growth rate that is higher than the UK as a whole.
  • The EY report also highlights that Scotland is the number one location in the UK, ahead of London, for R&D projects, having secured 24% of all R&D projects coming into the UK – a massive 70% year-on-year increase.
  • In 2019, a landmark 27% increase to a record £85m in equity investment raised by Scotland’s life sciences companies was reported, including a surge in international venture capital support.
  • At the end of 2020, data from Pitchbook and analysed by Savills reported significant growth in investment into Scotland’s life sciences sector with over £600 million raised for life science companies headquartered in Scotland in the last three years.
  • With respect to younger, start-up companies, The 2019 BioCity Life Sciences Report described how Scottish start-ups represent 11% of the total UK number but secure 21% of the recorded government grant funding. 


Innovation Funding

The Scottish Enterprise SMART grant helps small and medium sized enterprises in Scotland undertake technical feasibility studies and research and development (R&D) projects that have a commercial endpoint.

The Scottish Enterprise Seek & Solve Grant is used to support a new and 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.  


Early Stage Investment

Scotland’s dynamic life sciences environment consistently attracts pre-seed, seed and angel investment for early stage life sciences companies.  Specialists in Life Sciences include: 

Archangels , a prominent business angel syndicate which has been at the forefront of early stage investing in Scotland for more than a quarter of a century.

BioCity Investment  provide convertible loan investment, equity investment and co-investment with High Net Worth Individuals to very early stage companies to get them started, and to more established companies, to help them grow.

With the UK headquarters in Edinburgh, Epidarex Capital provides equity capital to start-ups, including University spin-outs.  Investing in early stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in emerging and under-ventured research hubs, Epidarex partners with scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market.


Venture Capital

The Scottish National Investment Bank provides mission led, patient capital investment to businesses, projects, and communities.  The SNIB invests in rebalancing Scotland’s economy towards sustainable technology, services and industry and in innovation and industries of the future for a healthier, more resilient and productive population.

Investing alongside partners, The Scottish Venture Fund supports companies from startups, early-stage to expanding businesses seeking funding to develop products and/or markets. As a ‘gap’ funder, the Scottish Venture Fund is equity-based and comes in after private sector investment is maximised and can provide from £10,000 up to £2 million, as part of a total deal size typically ranging from £20,000 to £10 million.


Funding Competitions

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth entrepreneurial talent.  The Higgs EDGE competition is a special award for Science, Technology and Engineering focused businesses based in Scotland and carries the competition’s largest potential prize amount of up to £150,000 (50/50 grant/loan split).

Converge works in collaboration with Scotland’s universities acting as a catalyst to accelerate the creation of innovative products and services that will improve lives and safeguard our planet.  Open to university staff, students and recent graduates across Scotland, the programme provides equity-free cash prizes, intensive business training and expert advice from a roster of industry partners.




EY Attractiveness Surveys 2018 and 2019

Savills Insight and Opinion