CPI launches the SCOUT project to benefit chemical and biochemical SMEs across Scotland
Published on 01/06/2020
CPI, an independent technology innovation centre and founding member of the UK Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, has today announced the launch of SCOUT, a project to target a breadth of Scottish SMEs working in the high value chemical and biochemical supply chains. The project will leverage technology within CPI and its partner organisations to accelerate and de-risk the growth of Scottish SMEs – including those underserved and remote – by enabling new partnerships and increased technology adoption.
The SCOUT project, which will run over the next three years, will be led by CPI’s Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre and is being launched in collaboration with CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). It aims to serve Scottish SMEs through a three-pronged approach of innovation clinics (currently planned to start in late 2020), Innovation IntegratorÒ assessments and deep technical consultancy. The £882k Scottish Outreach (SCOUT) project is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (managed by Scottish Enterprise) CPI, CMAC and IBioIC.
Fifty SMEs from across Scotland will be selected to attend the planned innovation clinics, supported by all of the partner organisations. Companies will be connected to new networks and supply chains in order to encourage partnerships and attend workshops with a focus on common technology and business challenges, including equality, sustainability and diversity. As location can often act as a barrier to event attendance, two innovation clinics will be located in central Scotland, while the other two will be located in the Highlands & Islands region.
CPI will also provide promising SMEs with Innovation Integrator assessments, a proprietary diagnostic tool used to identify innovation gaps, prioritise resources, and both assess and improve the market readiness of a product or process. Finally, deep technical consultancy – supported by all project partners – will provide selected SMEs with the opportunity to receive knowledge and expertise on specific topics, as well as providing the next steps for implementing specific recommendations.
The SCOUT project aims to drive future economic growth in Scotland, providing services for underserved Scottish SMEs and ensuring previous barriers – as a result of geographical or technical limitations – are removed. This connection and support will ultimately generate new ideas and revenue, helping to accelerate the delivery of disruptive technology to the market.
Professor Alastair Florence, Director, CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Scottish research, innovation and SME community to stand out. Access to innovation clinics and consultancy, supporting all of Scotland, will allow new and unique services and products to enter the market and support economic growth at a time when this is more important than ever. This inventive, collaborative approach would not have been possible without the SCOUT project. The CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub works in partnership with industry and the supply chain to transform medicines development and manufacture.”
Dr Mark Bustard, CEO, IBioIC, said: “IBioIC is delighted to work with CPI on the SCOUT project. Alongside CMAC, IBioIC will support our industry members and Scotland’s wider Industrial Biotechnology community to ensure that the SMEs can take advantage of the tools created through the SCOUT project to accelerate the exploitation of their innovations.”
Dave Tudor, Managing Director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre at CPI, said: “The SCOUT project is providing Scottish SMEs in the high value chemical and biochemical supply chains with a great opportunity to drive forward the Scottish economy once the COVID-19 pandemic is over”.