The funding, which will also support a range of initiatives and organisations, will promote science engagement activity across Scotland, supporting young people’s learning and encouraging science careers and skills development.
The funding boost comes as visitor numbers increased in Scotland’s four science centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow to 644,787 in 2013 up 0.5 per cent from the previous year.
The science sector is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy – for example, in 2012, the life sciences sector and chemical industries sector together contributed £1.8 billion.
Recent export figures also show an increase in science related products, with refined petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical product sales growing by 4.4 per cent during the second quarter of 2014.
Commenting on the funding, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s science sector plays a vital role within the country’s economy, with life sciences and chemical industries alone contributing £1.8 billion.
“The recent boost in science related exports is welcome but we need to go further to inspire and involve a new generation in science. We are committed to supporting and enhancing involvement in science and our package of support for science centres and science festivals is unique within the UK.
“This £3.4 million boost will allow our science centres to continue to invest in hands-on exhibits and activities.
“Scotland and our scientists have played a pivotal role in some of the greatest scientific developments in history, and this funding will allow this legacy to continue through supporting young people’s learning and helping them realise science career opportunities available to them.
“The funding will also provide a platform to showcase the world-leading research done in our universities and research institutes – inspiring our next generation of scientists.”
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