Bringing together Scotland's academics and businesses to generate economic impact
What are Innovation Centres trying to achieve?
The SFC’s vision for the Innovation Centres is:
Using the Scottish university infrastructure, human resources and research excellence as a platform for collaborations across the whole of Scotland, Innovation Centres will create sustainable and internationally ambitious open communities of university staff, research institutes, businesses and others to deliver economic growth and wider benefits for Scotland.
What are Innovation Centres?
There are eight Innovation Centres in Scotland, funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) with support of the Scottish enterprise agencies (Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise). All these centres are bringing together academia and industry in areas where Scotland has world-leading research capacity and high potential for economic growth.
Scottish HEIs are a key part of Innovation Centres. Universities provide access to the knowledge and problem-solving skills of their research staff they act as the administrative hub and they work with the Innovation Centres on skills training.
Although all the centres are quite different there are some key features such as:
- Projects are led by business demand
- Centres provide access to Scotland’s world-class researchers
- All centres work with a range of businesses (multinationals through to SMEs), depending on the sector
- All are looking to grow key economic sectors in Scotland
Review of the Innovation Centres programme, 2016
Professor Graeme Reid led an independent review of the Innovation Centre programme, focussing on the delivery of the original vision, aims and objectives. This review came at the mid-point of the initial SFC commitment to the programme.
The Review reported in September 2016 and recognised that the programme is on the ‘right track’ and gave a series of 10 recommendations.
We support the outcome of the Review and look forward to contributing to implementation.
Where are the Innovation Centres?
The locations of Scotland’s eight innovation centres are plotted in the map to the right (source: Scotland’s Innovation Centres: Driving Demand Led Innovation, Scottish Funding Council).
You can find more information about Innovation Centres on their website.
Scotland's eight Innovation Centres
More information about the aims, activities, and partners involved in each of Scotland’s eight Innovation Centres:
Industrial biotechnology is the use of biological resources for producing and processing materials into useful products including energy and high-value chemicals. An independent economic assessment forecasts that IBioIC will generate around £130 million of GVA (Gross Value Added) and 1,500 jobs in five years, directly through the Innovation Centre and indirectly through companies involved in the market.
Thirteen of Scotland’s universities are involved with IBioIC and it is coordinated by the University of Strathclyde.
Over 170 companies are working in sensor system technology in Scotland, generating over £2.5 billion per year to economy, and this sector, globally and in Scotland, has huge growth potential. To meet that opportunity, CENSIS aims to deliver 150 collaborative research products in its first five years.
Twelve of Scotland’s universities are involved along with a range of industry partners.
Twelve Scottish universities are involved, with more than 450 academic researchers working primarily on oil and gas specific technologies. The Innovation Centre connects these researchers with more than 2,000 oil and gas operators and service companies. The initial investment of £10.6 million is expected to leverage over £26 million investments from other sources within the first five years.
Aquaculture is the rearing, breeding and harvesting of plants and animals in water environments. The focuses of SAIC include shellfish health and welfare, sustainable feeds, stock improvement and application of engineering and automation solutions.
Aquaculture already contributes up to £1.86 billion each year to the Scottish economy and 8,300 jobs, and is particularly important in fragile rural communities. As an indication of the scale of growth potential industry estimates show that every additional 1500 tonnes of salmon create an additional £10.5 million for the Scottish economy.
SAIC is headquartered at the University of Stirling. Funding from SAIC has leveraged additional funding from a number of sources including significant industry contributions (on average, £2.70 from industry for every £1 of SAIC investment).
The effective use of data could potentially benefit Scottish companies by £17 billion. This would include thousands of businesses, the majority of them SMEs. Companies that use ‘big data’ are five times more likely to make faster decisions than competitors and are twice as likely to be sector leaders. Data Lab runs projects which transfer world-leading informatics and computer science research and technology into industry.
Data Lab has hubs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
There are over 31,000 businesses involved in the Scottish construction industry with over 170,000 people employed in construction (over 10% of all Scottish jobs). In terms of growth, building technologies and energy management sectors alone are forecast to support 15, 000 jobs by 2020.
CSIC aims to solve challenges in the construction industry by tapping into the academic base (Scotland has 20% of the UK’s academic capability in built environment) and to undertake over 250 projects in its first five years.
Digital health allows better tracking and management of health, as well as reducing inefficiencies in healthcare delivery, improving access and most importantly improving healthcare. The DHI is looking to address the demands on Scottish health and social care services through new technologies.
The global Digital Health market is estimated to be worth over $233bn by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 21%. Estimates show that by 2018 the market in Europe will account for 33% of the global health market by 2018 with a Scottish market of $1.2bn
SMS-IC aims to develop safer, more effective therapies and diagnostic tools. This centre is a collaboration of the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, the four largest NHS Boards and business partners.
SMS-IC is a world-class centre for commercial delivery of stratified medicine, capitalising on Scotland’s unique features which make it so good for medical research including essentially one health provider (NHS Scotland); an electronic health record system; and a stable population base.
SMS-IC works with a range of companies such as pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and medical diagnostic companies.
- Scottish Government news release following the £14 million capital investment in Innovation Centres: news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Economic-boost-from-Innovation-Centres-1008.aspx (20.08.14).
- The Scottish Funding Council’s vision for Innovation Centres: www.sfc.ac.uk/funding/FundingOutcomes/KnowledgeExchange/InnovationCentres/InnovationCentres.aspx
- Review of the Innovation Centres programmes: http://www.sfc.ac.uk/Priorities/Innovation/IndependentICReview/ICReview.aspx