The technology company development journey : from concept to commercialisation

Inglis, Iain and Richmond, Kenny (2013) The technology company development journey : from concept to commercialisation. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 36 (3). pp. 60-68. ISSN 2046-5378

[thumbnail of FEC_36_3_2013_InglisIRichmondK] PDF. Filename: FEC_36_3_2013_InglisIRichmondK.pdf
Final Published Version

Download (558kB)


It is widely recognised that Scotland has competitive advantage in key areas of science and technology within its research and company base. However, the nation performs relatively poorly in terms of numbers of active entrepreneurs, business start-ups and creation of high-growth technology businesses within knowledge intensive industries. Scotland needs to rapidly commercialise those technologies where there is both a strong market opportunity and an ambition to create or grow a company of scale. The Scottish Government's Economic Strategy (Scottish Government, 2011) highlights the role that commercialisation can play in contributing to economic growth and Scottish Enterprise (SE) has built a clear strategic commitment to commercialisation: developing and investing in a number of initiatives and programmes to support the conversion of science and technology based ideas into products or services which deliver value to a particular market. With the ambition of converting the country's wealth of research assets into economic assets, a better understanding of the mechanics and transitions by which technology based ideas are transformed into marketable goods and services across the 'concept to commercialisation' paradigm is key to improving success rates and economic benefits for Scotland. This paper sets out the key findings from primary research that gives a unique insight into the experience of 32 companies that have been supported by SE. The research evidence highlights the challenges involved in the commercialisation process and path to market for Scottish-based technology companies, whose origins may be existing technology businesses, university spin-outs or start-up companies, and is the first in-depth analysis of its kind in Scotland.