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There is a new entrepreneurial spirit emerging in Scotland that recognises the social as well as economic benefits of innovation and collaboration. The Vanguard Initiative provides an excellent platform from which we can work with our European partners to deliver our shared aspirations for smart,sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Scottish Government has set out its approach to establishing the foundations for long-term economic prosperity and the policy levers which will drive growth most effectively in its Government Economic Strategy. The Government Econom­ic Strategy articulates the Scottish Government’s support for economic growth through a range of actions focussed on six Growth Sectors: Food & Drink; Creative Industries; Sustainable Tourism; Energy (including renewables); Financial & Business Services; and Life Sciences. These Growth Sectors are characterised by strong indus­try leadership, working alongside public partners in setting the ambition and direc­tion for each sector and will help drive sustainable growth and develop a resilient and adaptable economy.

In addition to our focus on the Scottish Growth Sectors, Scotland’s has recognised strengths in Personalised Health and Care and through Scotland’s science, tech­nology and engineering assets across all sectors. Enabling and digital technologies underpin and form an essential part of the supply chain in existing and emerging growth sectors. In addition, the creation of four Enterprise Areas - each with its clear sectoral focus to enable a targeted approach to maximising the advantages of knowledge clusters and natural resources - support our industries in the creation of new employment opportunities and stimulate private investment.

Our sustained focus on areas identified as Scottish strengths is delivering results – not only for Scotland but for our European partners too. Such co-operation is at the heart of our ambitions for growth and is evidenced through the following example. A key partner in the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Health Age­ing, Scotland is recognised by the European Commission as a three star Reference site within the EIP through its work in addressing the challenges of active and healthy ageing - and broader societal challenges - to meet the needs of Europe’s citizens by the safe and effective use of digital technologies.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work