Scotland should be better connected with the rest of the UK to use the “financial muscle” of London in order to improve business innovation, a report from Gordon Brown’s think tank says.
Our Scottish Future’s (OSF) report also recommends setting up new local “innovation forums” which bring together academics and businesses to come up with ideas to boost productivity.
The report, titled Engine of the North, notes that some regions of Scotland far outperform others in economic productivity.
It also says there are fewer new businesses being created each year per head of population than every region in England except the North East.
The paper is written by engineers Chris Bond and Will Sutton, who have experience in the offshore industry, and OSF research director, Jamie Gollings.
The report’s authors conclude: “Scotland has one of the strongest sets of innovation enablers in the UK.
“Scotland would be expected to be a real leader in driving innovation in the UK.
“What’s going wrong? The ingredients are there, but the meal is disappointing. The answer is the lack of a good recipe.”
Among its recommendations, the report argues that Scotland should connect up more closely with the rest of the UK to “leverage the financial muscle of London” as well as Oxford and Cambridge.
It proposes innovation forums that would identify projects to improve productivity, with levelling-up money being used to fund the initial phases.
Mr Brown will speak at a conference in Glasgow on Friday February 10, where the report will be presented.
Responding to the report, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “This report is right to highlight Scotland’s huge economic strengths, and also to point to the success of similar sized European countries like Denmark – what Scotland needs to match that success is the full powers of a normal independent country.
“This report is also completely silent on the huge damage being done to Scotland by the Tory Brexit we rejected – the evidence of which is mounting by the day.
“Gordon Brown and Scottish Labour are part of the shameful conspiracy of silence between the Westminster parties on the damage being done by Brexit – something that only independence can help to reverse.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe