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Technology Development

Technology development describes the process by which new and emerging technologies become generally applied and lead to the introduction of new products and services.

Through its research St Andrews produces a steady stream of new ideas and technology which both require further development through proof of concept to bring these opportunities closer to market.

Dependent on the source of research funding from which the technology/idea arose development funding is available from a variety of sources. These include:

  • Research Councils
  • Medical Charities
  • Scottish Enterprise

Research Councils

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership between the seven UK Research Councils.  RCUK was established in 2002 to enable the Councils to work together more effectively to enhance the overall impact and effectiveness of their research, training and innovation activities, contributing to the delivery of the Government's objectives for science and innovation.

The RCUK Knowledge Transfer Portal offers a single point of access for those in, for example, academia, business, public, private and/or third sectors, who want to find out about Research Council knowledge transfer schemes and activities and how to get involved.

You will find links to Research Council funding opportunities, current events, networks and training courses at the RCUK Knowledge Transfer Portal 

St Andrews has been successful in bids for Follow-on-Funding from both the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


Translational research helps turn early-stage innovations into new health products, advancing the innovation to the point where it becomes attractive for further development by the medical, pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.

Although research in academia and in companies produces many new discoveries and inventions that have the potential to improve health, turning those ideas into marketable products can prove extremely difficult.

For example, an inventor may need to do further work on the proof of concept of a technology to link skills in the physical sciences to those in biology and medicine. They may also need to bring together the right combination of business expertise to develop the product and position it within the market - anticipating ahead what the market will be looking for, and how the concept will be introduced alongside the competition.

Translation research helps to overcome such obstacles, bridging the gap between basic research and a marketable product. The funding schemes provided by medical charities therefore aim to advance the development of an innovation to the point where it becomes attractive for others - such as venture capital firms, industry or public-private partnerships - to take up the challenge of producing a product for the market.

Translational funding is available from the large medical charities and the MRC:

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise (SE) is the Regional Development Agency in Scotland. SE is Scotland's main economic, enterprise, innovation and investment agency. SE's ultimate goal is to stimulate sustainable growth of Scotland's economy.

To achieve this SE helps ambitious and innovative businesses grow and become more successful and also works with public and private sector partners to develop the business environment in Scotland. SE delivers a range of dedicated support services locally, nationally and internationally.

To build a world-class economy, SE is interested in industries that have real competitive advantage in Scotland, particularly:

  • energy
  • life sciences
  • tourism
  • financial services
  • food and drink
  • digital markets and enabling technologies

SE work in partnership with universities, colleges, local authorities and other public sector bodies to achieve its goals.

Two SE schemes are particularly appropriate for consideration:

The Proof of Concept Programme helps researchers from Scotland 's universities, research institutes and NHS Boards export their ideas and inventions from the lab to the global marketplace.

Find out more about the Proof of Concept Programme

Enterprise Fellowships help researchers, post-graduate or recently graduated students spin-out their business ideas. The Fellowship offers a year's salary, business training to help you take your idea forward, a business development fund to help you get things moving and access to networks of mentors, business experts and professional advisers.

Find out more about Enterprise Fellowships

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