THE Scottish National Investment Bank has been officially launched.
Described as the UK’s first mission-led development bank, it is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with £2 billion over ten years.
The bank’s proposed aims will focus on supporting the transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places, and harnessing innovation. It will provide patient capital – a form of long term investment – for businesses and projects in Scotland.
The first major investment is £12.5 million in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared Lasers, which will support the company’s growth in Scotland.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “The Scottish National Investment Bank will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face now and in the years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns. It is hitting the ground running with its first major investment in M Squared Lasers – a great example of the ambitious and innovative companies we have here in Scotland that will be key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.
“The launch of the bank is one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament, with the potential for it to transform, grow and decarbonise Scotland’s economy.”
Scottish National Investment Bank chair Willie Watt added, “Today is a key milestone for the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our launch enables us to make mission-led, strategic, patient investments in businesses and projects that can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland. I am excited about the role the Bank will play in supporting and enabling growth in the Scottish economy.
“We are particularly pleased that our first investment is in M Squared which is at the cutting edge of innovation and is a recognised world-leader in its field. It is our firm belief that the bank will make many more investments that deliver positive mission impacts in the years and decades to come.”
Dr Graeme Malcolm, CEO and founder of M Squared, commented, “Science and advanced technologies have a major role to play in Scotland’s future economic prosperity. By increasing investment in research and development with a mission-based approach, Scotland has a real opportunity to actively tackle climate change and benefit from the coming quantum revolution. We are delighted that the Scottish National Investment Bank has invested in M Squared as its very first business – our shared commitments to society and the environment makes this an ideal partnership that will enable accelerated growth and progress in frontier technologies.”