Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund

– in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2019.

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Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

5. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the latest applicants to the knowledge transfer and innovation fund. (S5O-03723)

Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

The knowledge transfer and innovation fund assessment committee approved six applications on 6 September this year and my officials are currently finalising contract arrangements with the beneficiaries. Once concluded, that will bring the total number of approved projects to 33, with a total commitment of just under £5.8 million in the Scottish rural development programme 2014 to 2020 programme period.

We are scheduled to assess another round of applications in February 2020. Those innovative projects will focus on restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems that are dependent on agriculture and forestry.

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

I thank the minister for her very helpful answer. Will she confirm whether she is referring to operational groups? That is the question that I am getting from some farmers. Will the minister also tell us exactly how many people have been enrolled in the scheme?

Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

I would have to check and get back to Liz Smith with that information. The fund is very important because it is vitally important that we see innovation in rural communities, where I have personally visited some of the projects.

I will get the information on her specific points to Liz Smith.