Jun 14, 2013

Fergus Ewing: "Innovation Essential for Market Growth"

Enterprise Minister calls on businesses to place research and development high on the agenda as timber systems supplier reaches new heights with product launch.

Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism has encouraged Scottish businesses to prioritise innovation as a route towards increased market share and creating opportunities for expansion.

Following a visit to Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ headquarters in Aberdeen where he was given a preview of the company’s latest product developments, including its newly BBA-accredited Sigma II Build System which can now support structures up to six storeys, Mr Ewing said a commitment to research and development was essential for sustained business growth.

Mr Ewing said: “Innovative companies form the cornerstone of stimulating market growth, which is why I was delighted to see first-hand the good work being carried out by Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

“Stewart Milne's Sigma II Build System chimes with the Scottish Government’s ‘Greener’ strategic objectives for tackling greenhouse gas emissions and we welcome the company’s approach to technical design which will not only improve the thermal efficiency of the buildings but also enable rapid construction.”

The company, which designs and manufactures timber systems for commercial and residential developments across the UK, places innovation and product development at the heart of its business to create new opportunities and maintain its competitive edge. The company’s Sigma II Build System has already received a number of awards in innovation for its carbon efficiency, ease of build and cost effectiveness.

With the latest product innovation expanding the scope of the Sigma II System to support six storeys, Stewart Milne Timber Systems has broadened its target market by increasing the number of customers able to capitalise on timber construction.

Alex Goodfellow, group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “In the last decade the market has changed with businesses required to do things faster, better, and more cost effectively than ever before. Innovation is no longer an option, it’s imperative for long term success.

“Through continued investment in research and development, we are able to challenge the status quo of the market place and this has been the catalyst for our most recent innovation with the Sigma II Build System. By increasing the number of storeys available to our customers, we have significantly grown our own potential market and extended the financial and sustainability benefits afforded to customers choosing timber systems to a much larger group.

“The construction industry was hit hard by the recession and continues to contend with the resulting hangover. As a supplier to the sector, it’s important we demonstrate added value by investing in product development and exploring new cost effective options which align with our customers’ objectives. Only through a targeted focus on innovation can we ensure we develop a suite of products which are superior in the market and keep us one step ahead of competitors.”

Mr Ewing added: “The Scottish Government encourages businesses to develop and use innovative energy efficiency solutions and our target is to reduce total final energy consumption in Scotland by 12 per cent over the period to 2020.”

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