FMC creates new jobs in Scotland

FMC Technologies is to create 240 new research and development and manufacturing jobs in Scotland, many located at its site in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire.

The expansion is being supported with £2.5m in Scottish government grants.

Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This decision is testament to the quality and skills of our workforce in engineering and manufacturing. Scotland’s experience in subsea engineering, drilling and fabrication has seen many companies become vital players throughout the world.”

FMC has an R&D partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University – for details, click here.

Scottish Enterprise highlights business collaboration potential

In tough times, businesses and public sector organisations should take a more collaborative approach to working – that was the theme running through the Scottish Enterprise networking event this week in Glasgow.

Keynote speaker Raymond O’Hare, Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, told delegates people can be sceptical when they hear the word ‘collaboration’ but that it was a ‘practical necessity’ for business survival.

He outlined 5 types of collaboration: Corporate Business Partner Programmes; Small Organisations Learning from Large; Informal Collaboration Agreements; Formal Collaboration Agreements; and Influencer Collaboration.

Other speakers included Virginia Sumsion, marketing manager at Loch Fyne Oysters, who spoke about her Argyll food producers co-operative which sells food and drink products at events under the Food from Argyll banner.

For more information on collaborating with Glasgow Caledonian University, go to


Scottish universities top UK spin-outs survey

Scottish universities have produced more spin-out companies over the past decade than any other part of the UK, a survey has suggested.

New internet database Spinouts UK said Scottish institutions had created 172 firms, followed by London (115) and the south east (85).

GCU spin outs include Biopta.  More on the BBC

Technology Strategy Board takes forward Technology and Innovation Centres

The Government is investing £200m in a network of elite Technology and Innovation Centres overseen by the Technology Strategy Board.

These centres – likely to focus on key areas such as renewable energy – will complement and link with other work which the Technology Strategy Board already manages to promote collaboration between universities and business, driving innovation and the commercialisation of new technology and ideas. Examples include the Knowledge Transfer Networks, national networks where business and researchers can share ideas and opportunities, and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships which place graduates in business to work on innovative projects.

Each centre will focus on a specific technology where there is a potentially large global market and a significant UK capability. The centres will allow businesses to access equipment and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach as well as conducting their own in-house R&D.  They will also help businesses access new funding streams and point them towards the potential of emerging technologies.

Working with industry and government, the Technology Strategy Board will develop a strategy and implementation plan for the elite network of centres by April 2011.

SMEs vital to Scottish economy

SMEs play a vital role in driving the Scottish economy and “yet they do not always received the recognition they deserve for their extraordinary achievements”.

These were the views emphasised by Alasdair Northrop, Editor of Scottish Business Insider, at the SME 300 Awards 2009 event in Glasgow.

According to Scottish Government research, SMEs account for 99.2% of enterprises here and they employ around 52.8% of the population.

Overall the SME 300 companies saw a 0.3% fall in profits reflecting the beginning of the recession. However, that compared to a 2.2% fall in Insider’s Top 500 companies listing, which seems to indicate that SMEs are more resilient in this climate.

Insider, in association with accountancy firm Scott-Moncrieff, set up the awards three years ago to mark the achievements of SMEs in a number of areas including leadership, innovation and focus.

Cormac Bryce, PhD Researcher in the Division of Accounting, Finance & Risk at  the Caledonian Business School, conducted in-depth research for the SME 300 Awards 2009.

Cormac’s research was then put to the panel of judges led by Gio Benedetti. The other judges were Vivien Kyles, Chief Executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse; Audrey Corfield, Head of Office for Glasgow at Marsh; founder of Braveheart Geoffrey Thomson; and Chartered Accountant Nelson Gray.