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What has today’s university research ever done for us?


25 Mar 2015

From today, people wanting to know more about the world-leading discovery and innovation taking place in Scottish universities need look no further than their laptop or tablet.

Researchers at Scotland’s 19 universities contributed almost 800 case studies to the recent (REF), the UK’s ultimate guide to the quality of university research. These case studies now form part of a new database of research work launched today at a national conference in London.

One Scottish submission describes how two universities joined together to create a pioneering programme for managing obesity that can be run in pharmacies, fitness clubs and community halls. The programme, Counterweight, is already benefitting the health and welfare of obese patients across the world. Another Scottish research project got 1,500 people across the country to create a video diary of the Scottish Nation in 2012, giving a unique voice to often poorly-understood and neglected sectors of society.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance MSP said: “The 2014 Research Excellence Framework has shown that all of our institutions are producing world-class research in a variety of disciplines.

“Translation of our world-class university research is key to our economic growth, prosperity and social development and the publication of these case studies further underlines Scotland’s world-leading status.

“The Scottish Government will continue to support excellent research with impact across all of Scotland’s Universities, developing new ways of thinking that to further strengthen our economy and improve the lives of people in Scotland and around the world.”

Laurence Howells, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “This new database showcases the amazing research that takes place in Scottish universities. Counterweight is a fantastic project, so is the video diary of the Scottish Nation and there are almost 800 case studies. They will help inspire the next generation of researchers - the people we need to solve climate change, discover new medicines and help us understand our changing world. The database will also give businesses access to the constant stream new ideas and insights coming from universities.”

The REF impact case study database is available from today.