Innovation Centres: Connecting the Future
The Scottish Funding Council has invested in Scottish Innovation Centres in the belief that their unique fusion of intellect, discovery and entrepreneurship can help to bring about a revolution in Scotland’s future prosperity and social well-being.
Backed by a five-year investment of over £120 million, the centres are already starting to produce exciting results as collaborations between academic researchers and businesses translate into products and services. Industry-led from the start, they have been quick to build their connections with businesses in crucial sectors such Big Data, biotechnology, imaging technology and construction.
I believe there are also huge benefits to society from the innovation centres involved in medical and health-related collaborations. Scotland continues to be a world-leader in medical research but competition in this fast-moving area is fierce. The key to staying ahead lies in close partnerships between those at the cutting edge of medicine, science, technology and engineering, regardless of whether they work in universities, NHS Scotland or in industry.
What's really getting people talking about innovation centres at the moment is their potential to work together as organisations. At the Scottish Funding Council we're asking, for example, what could happen if there were a “super-link” between, say innovators in digital health and care and innovators in Big Data? To back this up we have introduced the Innovation Centre Challenge Fund, making available a further £1 million for collaboration across innovation centres.
For me, it's all about building belief and excitement around Scotland's ability to innovate. People are aware of what Scotland achieved in the Enlightenment and are really proud of the great innovators of the past such as James Young Simpson, Mary Somerville and James Watt.
I'd like them to be equally proud of what we're achieving now and what we are capable of achieving in the future. Innovation Centres are part of that future and the possibilities are limitless.
Professor Albert Rodger, Chair of SFC’s Research and Innovation Committee - 2 Aug 2016