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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. On 22 January 2020 we also published our refreshed plan for Economic Growth 2019-2020.
The Econom¬ic 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 indus¬try leadership, working alongside public partners in setting the ambition and direc¬tion for each sector and will help drive sustainable growth and develop a resilient and adaptable economy.
In parallel, the Scottish Government has a vision for national wellbeing, established in 2018. As the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at the launch of the framework which underpins the vision, “the Scottish Government recognises that economic growth is hugely important, but it must be matched by improvements in our environment, in people’s quality of life, in the opportunities available to people and the public services they have access to. As a government and as a country, the challenge this new framework sets us all is to make progress in these areas to improve wellbeing across Scotland.”
Scottish Enterprise supports the Scottish Government’s approach to inclusive growth and the wellbeing economy, which is outlined in Scottish Enterprise’s Strategic Framework launched in summer 2019. Scottish Enterprise’s Chief Executive Steve Dunlop argues that “we now need an emphatic shift back towards our original purpose and to make sure we are playing our part to deliver for the whole economy; working with business to create more, quality jobs that help reduce poverty and support businesses, communities and families across Scotland.”
Scotland continues to be an outward looking nation, and in September 2019, Scottish research and innovation stakeholders published their position paper on the strategic priorities of the Horizon Europe framework programme 2021-2027, in response to the European Commission’s consultation. Input from numerous Scottish universities and other public and private stakeholders was included, and demonstrates the value of relationships with European counterparts, which work and add value through mutual trust, learning, personal bonds and strong shared values.
Scotland remains committed to the Vanguard Initiative network and working in partnership with our European colleagues. The Scottish Government has recently published the Scottish Perspective on the European Union's Strategic Agenda 2020-2024, which focuses on how Scotland sees the EU's priorities for the period ahead and explaining why these are of vital importance to Scotland and how Scotland can contribute to their delivery.