Stem cell investment for Scotland

Scottish Enterprise and the agency's ITI research initiative are planning to invest up to £30m in the controversial area of stem cell medicine.

Janet Brown, Scottis Enterprise's managing director of industries, and Shonaig Macpherson, chairman of ITI Scotland, are considering methods to support a stem cell medicine business which could support hundreds of jobs in Scotland. This would require funding over and above ITI Scotland's £450million 10-year budget. The budget is divided between three ITIs investing in life sciences, technology and media, and energy. Each ITI identifies and funds research projects which are expected to create commercial technology.

Scottish Enterprise's chief executive Jack Perry has been under considerable pressure to increase funding for the ITIs. Last year ITI Energy's advisory board wrote to him to ask for a 66% increase in each ITI's annual budget from £15m to £25m, according to a letter obtained by Scotland on Sunday under the Freedom of Information Act.

Quango's £30m injection to cement Scotland as centre of stem cell research (Scotland on Sunday, 5 February 2006)