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Growing Innovation

Josh Roberts MICFor, Policy Advisor at Scottish Forestry, reports on an innovation fund that has just opened.

Forestry and Land Scotland want everyone with a potential interest in plant nursery technology to know about an innovation fund that has just opened. The fund will support the research and development of new products to boost the yield of planting stock that can be achieved from the seed of any economically significant tree species grown in Scotland. The opportunity is fully funded but closing soon! Deadline 21 August 2019.

Forestry and Land Scotland, previously known as the Forest Enterprise Scotland agency within the Forestry Commission, wants to support and collaborate with individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, researchers and stakeholder organisations: anyone in the UK and beyond who has a good idea about how to improve efficiency and yield in forestry tree nurseries.

Forestry in Scotland is booming, with rising demands for high quality planting stock for restocking and new woodland creation set to continue, particularly in light of the recently announced Climate Emergency. Biosecurity concerns associated with importing plants and soil, however, are also on the rise. This means it is more important than ever that we make the supplies of precious orchard seed go as far as possible.

This is a fully funded opportunity to develop your idea into a profitable product, supported by the Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund, an initiative of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Scottish Government. But it’s not just 100% funding that is on offer, the Challenge is being supported through CivTech, experts in bringing together public sector expertise and private sector creativity to solve real problems and develop new products. This means there is significant help available through this opportunity to expand or start your business and to reach and establish a customer base.

The initial expression of interest is very light touch, we really just want to hear what your idea is, how you think it will work and why you believe it is innovative. If we think it has potential we will pay you £3,000, plus VAT, to develop a more comprehensive plan to design and develop a prototype. Significant further funding is then available to build, test, and commercialise your idea in a phased approach designed to minimise the risk associated with starting a new business or entering a new market. But get your ideas in quick because the deadline for submissions is Wednesday 21 August 2019.

All questions about this opportunity and submission of ideas must be made through Public Contracts Scotland.

Full details and a video about this ‘Challenge’ can be found on the CivTech website here.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. 

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