European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes in Scotland: 2022 case studies booklet

A publicity booklet to celebrate and promote the achievements of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes in Scotland in 2022.

European Regional Development Fund Case Studies

Smart Growth

The Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) is a partnership between Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The overall aim of the AMCF is for projects to have a significant impact on advancing the manufacturing capabilities of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) within Scotland and lead to long-term transformational change. It is supported with approximately £8.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Manufacturing medical devices in Edinburgh

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) is one of twelve AMCF projects which forms part of the Scottish Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Ecosystem (SPRITE) programme being delivered by Scottish Enterprise and provides a free of charge range of services to Scottish SMEs.

The MDMC project is made up of a team of engineers, scientists and clinicians from across four Universities (Heriot Watt University, The University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and Robert Gordon University), who provide medical device developers and manufacturers with advice, access to manufacturing facilities, engineering and technical expertise, and regulatory advice for companies seeking to translate device concepts into commercial products. They have a comprehensive suite of manufacturing equipment installed in dedicated labs at Heriot Watt University ranging from laser based manufacturing equipment to medical device packaging and environmental testing equipment.

MDMC has delivered 11 Knowledge Transfer webinars since 2020, delivered two 4-day courses focussing on Medical Device Regulations, engaged with approximately 107 SMEs through events and supported 28 SMEs to date.

“The comprehensive manufacturing services provided by MDMC are normally out of reach for early-stage businesses – in the case of See Vac Ltd, we have been able to proceed to injection moulding of our novel multifunctional dental suction device, ready for large-scale manufacture. We have also benefited from expert advice on medical device regulatory approval, all of which helps to de-risk our pathway to commercialisation.”

Louise Kennedy, founder of See Vac Ltd, a medical device company

  • ERDF contribution to the project: £1.6million
  • Total project expenditure: £3.2million
  • Lead Partner: Scottish Enterprise
  • Project Lead: Heriot-Watt University

Providing SMEs with access to new technologies in the West Highlands

The Advancing Manufacturing in the West Highlands project is one of twelve Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) projects which forms part of the Scottish Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Ecosystem (SPRITE) programme being delivered by Scottish Enterprise and provides a free of charge range of services to Scottish SMEs.

The project is designed to provide SMEs within the West Highlands and wider Highlands and Islands area access to advanced manufacturing technology and expertise. The support available for SMEs includes 3D Printing and Scanning, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining, Industry 4.0, Project Engineering and Project Management. A new specialist Advancing Manufacturing Centre (AMC) located in Fort William provides opportunities for industry-led knowledge exchange and collaboration amongst businesses, and serves as a local point of contact for industry and academia which wasn’t available in the West Highlands prior to the project and ERDF support.

The AMC offers support to SMEs who want to explore how to design a product, make a prototype or run an assembly line or operation which could be improved with free manufacturing and design technology and access to specialist expertise. To date the project has held four events, engaged with 11 SMEs and supported eight projects with SMEs.

“Having the use of the specialist equipment and knowledgeable engineers helped us develop this product in a much shorter timescale, and more accurately than we could have ourselves.”

Cioch Ltd, Isle of Skye-based designer and manufacturer of outdoor clothes

  • ERDF contribution to project: £965,000
  • Total project expenditure: £1.4million
  • Lead Partner: Scottish Enterprise
  • Project Lead: West Highland College UHI

Sustainable Growth

Constructing a ‘Smart Canal’ in Glasgow

Historically, a significant area of north Glasgow has been at risk of surface water flooding, which has limited the development potential and created substantial amounts of derelict land. With local sewer systems at capacity, no natural watercourse in the area and climate change likely to bring more adverse weather events, a different approach to removing excess surface water was required.

After many years of planning, the solution has been the Glasgow ‘Smart Canal’ scheme, relying on sensors and predictive weather technology to dynamically manage water levels, enabling the canal to become a drainage route for excess surface water when rainfall is high. With early warning of wet weather, the canal water level can be lowered by up to 100mm, isolating the north Glasgow section and moving excess water into the nearby River Kelvin.

Officially named the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System (NGIWMS), it is a sustainable solution that has received capital funds from Glasgow City Region City Deal as well as ERDF grants via the Green Infrastructure Fund and ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’ programme.

Crucially, it has begun to unlock 110 hectares of previously unusable land at five sites across north Glasgow for development and regeneration. Around 3,000 new energy-efficient homes, a school, and other developments are being built in communities close to the canal. The area includes many neighbourhoods within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 10% most deprived datazones.

The Smart Canal is also boosting biodiversity along its length, improving green connections to surrounding areas and opening up green and blue spaces for recreation. Importantly, it is creating a new pedestrian-friendly community and, with the inclusion of active travel routes, it improves the area’s connectivity to the city centre.

The Smart Canal has won six major awards for engineering and innovation and has attracted interest from other local authorities and international visitors who are rethinking how they use their reservoirs and canal networks.

  • ERDF contribution to project: £336,000
  • Total project budget (Smart Canal): £839,000

Improving data literacy in Perth & Kinross

Data literacy can be defined as the ability to work with data – to capture and maintain it correctly, to analyse it, to use it to gain insight and to communicate with it effectively.

Data literacy is important for any organisation seeking to make better use of data. In recognition of this, Perth & Kinross Council’s (PKC) Data & Analytics project incorporates high-level objectives to improve data literacy across the organisation, as part of ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’ programme.

PKC undertook research and consulted with other councils to understand approaches being taken to data literacy improvement, finding that while it is an emerging area of interest, there is little in the way of fully-fledged best practice examples. This meant that development of the data literacy improvement plan has been an opportunity for innovation, adopting new approaches to awareness-raising, learning and staff development.

Taking inspiration from the festive season, and from a campaign facilitated by the Scottish Local Government Digital Office in 2020, the ‘12 Days of Data’ campaign has taken an innovative approach to teach staff about data, using non-technical language and Microsoft Teams based channels that users were already comfortable with. The key takeaway for users has been that data and analytics is relevant to everyone and is not just for the specialist.

The campaign has managed to build a community of data users that will continue to participate in future data literacy improvement activities. This will include the development of targeted data literacy learning pathways, training modules, and further awareness raising communications.

Thanks to ERDF support, Perth and Kinross Council has been able to upskill its employees in data literacy, creating efficiencies and opportunities to modernise across the whole council area.

  • ERDF contribution to project: £263,000
  • Total project expenditure: £657,000



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