Innovation strategy: economic evidence paper

Summary of the theory and selected evidence on the role of innovation and its drivers in generating economic growth and Scotland’s innovation performance to provide context for and inform the development of Scotland’s National Innovation Strategy.

Annex 2: Sectors identified by key current Scottish Government strategies

It is important that the choice of sectors for the Innovation Strategy is considered in the context of the sectors identified in analysis undertaken for other existing relevant Scottish Government strategies. Given the strong links that exist between innovation and exporting[83] and inward investment[84], key strategies to consider include 'Scotland's Inward Investment Plan' and 'A Trading Nation' – Scotland's export strategy. In addition, it is important to consider the sectors identified by Scotland's overarching economic strategy, 'Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation' (NSET)[85]. The table below outlines the sectors identified in each of the three strategies.

Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation

Scotland's Inward Investment Plan

A Trading Nation

Renewable energy

Hydrogen economy

Decarbonisation of transport


Circular economy

Blue economy

Sustainable farming & forestry, nature restoration, ecotourism & nature-based climate change solutions

Financial services and fintech, business services

Education, tourism and creative industries

Life sciences, chemical sciences, health tech and biotechnology

Enabling and emerging technologies inc. photonics and quantum technologies

Digital technology

Food and drink innovation

Creative industries, major events and tourism

Engineering and advanced manufacturing


Email: Innovation@Gov.Scot

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