FOLLOWING the referendum, a new task force is to consider the challenges and opportunities with a bearing on the future of the Scottish research base.
Co-chaired by Rob Woodward (Chief Executive, STV Group plc) and Professor Sir Ian Diamond (Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen), “Growing Value: Scotland” will bring together experts and leaders from across industry and academia to identify and prioritise actions specific to Scotland that will enhance the value of publicly-funded research and business-university collaboration.
The “Growing Value: Scotland” initiative will build on the previous work of the UK-wide Growing Value Task Force – led by David Eyton (Global Head of Research & Development, BP) and Professor Dame Shirley Pearce (then Vice-Chancellor, Loughborough University). “Growing Value: Scotland” will publish its final findings and recommendations in January 2016.
Rob Woodward, Chief Executive of STV and co-chair of the Task Force said: “As Scotland renegotiates its place in the Union ensuring economic sustainability is vital. Scotland and the rest of the UK will only preserve our key role in the world economy if we can lead the way in research and development.”
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of University of Aberdeen and co-chair of the Task Force commented: “The Scottish research and development landscape exists in an incredibly competitive world. It’s only by identifying its strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities it has to expand that we will be able to ensure the success of it and the wider Scottish economy.
“Academia has much to learn from the world of business and vice versa to make sure that graduates are leaving with the right skills, companies have access to the most exciting research and we are creating the innovative businesses that will ensure the growth of the Scottish economy.”
Dr David Docherty, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) added: “This is a time of unprecedented change in Scotland and it’s vital that we have a full understanding of the shape of Scottish research and development in order to plan for the future.
“It is crucial that higher education and business works together to understand the opportunities that exist for them and their students and employees.”
Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education, said: “Scotland is globally recognised for pioneering research and seizing the economic benefits that can be created through true collaboration. We’ve clearly seen from our Innovation Centres, which bring industry and academia together, the potential to not only generate investment, but to further extend the reach of research.
“This new Task Force can play a vital role in supporting the excellent work already being done through Innovation Scotland to enhance university-business engagemen.”