Scotland’s First Minister is expected to tell business leaders on Monday the country’s success in the push towards net zero will depend on its ability to innovate.
Humza Yousaf will address the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Forum in Edinburgh.
In his speech, the First Minister is expected to tout the economic opportunities of a just transition, as well as announcing the publication of a new innovation strategy this week, which will express his ambition “to become one of the most innovative small countries in the world”.
He is expected to say: “The move to net zero is not simply an environmental necessity, but a massive economic opportunity.
“It is crucial to Scotland’s future prosperity – so we will work with businesses to make the transition a success. That success will depend, to a large extent, on our ability to innovate
“Later this week, the Scottish Government will publish its innovation strategy, which sets out our ambition to become one of the most innovative small countries in the world.
“The strategy has been shaped by a steering group co-chaired by Sir Jim McDonald, of Strathclyde University, and it has been planned in very close collaboration with business and others.
“Innovation has already been an important focus for government investment in recent years.
“In the last decade, we’ve set up seven innovation centres in areas such as biotechnology and data.
“We’ve established new bodies such as the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland.
“And we’ve positioned Scotland as a testing ground for new net zero technologies – including hydrogen transport and floating wind power.”
The First Minister will also compare Scotland’s ability to use innovation to drive economic growth with other small countries such as Denmark, Norway and Finland, claiming these nations are better than Scotland in this regard currently.
He will add: “The innovation strategy will outline how we intend to emulate those countries – including by developing clusters in areas where we already have a competitive advantage – such as net zero, advanced manufacturing, health and life sciences, and data and digital technology.
“The innovation strategy will, I hope, lead to a lasting improvement in Scotland’s economic performance, and signal that Scotland is determined to become a world leader in entrepreneurship and innovation.”