Responding to the publication today, Thursday 26 May, of the Final Report of the Growing Value Scotland Task Force by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), Universities Scotland’s Director, Alastair Sim said:
“Scottish business leaders make clear in this report that support for our universities is vital if the nation is to bring about the transformational change needed in its innovation activities. The report recognises the many and strong activities our universities are delivering for Scotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to restore funding for research, to 2014/15 levels as part of a proposed new innovation funding system. This proposed new funding system, which includes public funding for knowledge transfer activity between universities and business, merits further consideration.
“There is real enthusiasm in Scotland’s universities to engage on the innovation agenda so as to be drivers of the country’s economy. We welcome the report’s focus on talent as a driver of innovation and the role of universities in developing enterprising graduates and providing training opportunities to business leaders.
“There are some really positive ideas in the recommendations for universities, including capitalising on alumni networks, a review of how Masters level skills are funded, and increasing the number of courses led by universities’ business schools that are available to businesses. A number of the recommendations for universities are already underway through the sector’s collaborative work on an innovation action plan and a commitment to enterprise and entrepreneurial education.
“We also welcome many of the task force’s recommendations for other partners, including for government to provide the right incentives mix for firms and physical infrastructure; for the enterprise agencies to fund a Scotland-wide awareness programme to promote business-university interaction; and for businesses to communicate their needs to universities.”