The Scottish National Investment Bank has officially opened for business with the completion of its first major investment.
It is the UK’s first mission-led development bank and it is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with £2 billion over 10 years.
The bank’s proposed missions will focus on supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places, and harnessing innovation to enable Scotland to flourish.
The £12.5 million investment in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared Lasers will support the company’s growth and speaks to the bank’s proposed core missions.
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.”
The bank will provide patient capital – a form of long-term investment – for businesses and projects in Scotland, and catalyse further private sector investment.
Scottish National Investment Bank chairman Willie Watt said: “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.”
Dr Graeme Malcolm, chief executive and founder of M Squared, said the company was delighted to be the recipient of the bank’s first investment.
He added: “Science and advanced technologies have a major role to play in Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”
Earlier this month, state aid approval for the establishment of the bank was received from the European Commission.
Benny Higgins, strategic adviser to the first minister on the establishment of the bank, said: “It has been an outstanding effort to make this a reality.
“We could not have predicted that the current pandemic renders the need for mission-led investment even more vital to create a robust, resilient, wellbeing economy in Scotland.”