Growing Potential: Scotland’s Innovation Step Change

Growing Potential: Scotland’s Innovation Step Change

Growing Potential: Scotland’s Innovation Step Change was established in early 2017 as the legacy implementation phase of the Growing Value Scotland (GVS) Taskforce (2014-2016).

Growing Potential is co-chaired by Mr David Brown (Partner, PwC and NCUB Council member) and Prof Sir Pete Downes (Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Dundee and NCUB Council member). It aims to drive a unified recognition for the need to transform the innovative capacity of Scottish businesses by mobilising the wealth of knowledge from fundamental research in Scotland’s world-class university sector. The ambition is to implement real change for Scotland, which will look to position the Scottish university, business and public sectors and foster genuine transformation in the creation and delivery of innovation whilst demonstrating the broader economic benefits of collaboration.


Professor Peter Downes
Principal and Vice Chancellor
University of Dundee

David Brown Partner PricewaterhouseCooper

David Brown,



Growing Potential Demonstrator Projects

Growing Potential’s current programme of work is centred on designing and delivering a small set of innovative demonstrator projects. These will show how focussed collaborative working between universities, businesses and the public sector can operate in practice to effectively identify and overcome discrete innovation challenges and needs.

Four demonstrator projects have been identified in areas that reflect globally recognised strengths of Scottish Universities with untapped potential to engage with business and the public sector to stimulate growth through innovation. These are:

  • Biomedical and Life Sciences;
  • Cyber;
  • Data; and
  • Quantum Technologies

Each project centres around an enthusiastic and committed set of collaborating partners. The projects are expected to report first stage outcomes by Autumn 2018. Beyond 2018 it is anticipated that they will transfer out from under the Growing Potential banner to be owned/led by the project team partners to further expand the activity and reach.

Background – The Growing Value Scotland Taskforce (2014-2016)

WP2 wrong size


 In May 2016 the GVS Taskforce published its final conclusions and recommendations which were grounded in a robust programme of independent research and extensive consultation. These highlighted a relative lack of business engagement in research and development, a low absorptive capacity of Scottish businesses for university outputs and called for a simplified innovation ecosystem in Scotland.


Download the report and view the Growing Value Scotland Task Force homepage here.




Expand for more