Research makes for a better world
9 Nov 2023
Three reports out today show how the benefits of academic research in Scottish universities extend into the lives of people not only in Scotland but in many other parts of the world.
An independent report from leading economic research specialists, the Fraser of Allander Institute, estimates that public investment channelled into research by the Scottish Funding Council supports almost 9,000 jobs and £590 million in sales of Scottish goods and services while contributing an annual £410 million to the Scottish economy.
RAND Europe’s analysis of material produced for the latest UK-wide assessment of university research found that Scottish universities were able to turn their research into local benefits in areas like education, health and the arts. It also found that research carried out in Scottish universities was helping to diagnose disease, uphold human rights and preserve cultures in countries across the globe.
The third report, a collection of research case studies published by the Scottish Funding Council, illustrates how its Research Excellence Grant, worth just under £247m in the current academic year, plays a vital role in underpinning the overall research system. Amongst the examples in the report are projects to improve heart health, support children with speech disorders and accelerate Scotland’s move to Net Zero.
Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:
“Research creates the new knowledge and inventions that benefit everyone in the long run. Taken together, the three reports published today show compelling evidence of the wide-ranging impact of Scottish university research and what it is achieving for us here in Scotland as well as the huge contribution it makes to societies across the world.
“Crucially, the reports show us the importance of sustained investment and the opportunity we have to build on Scotland's exceptional research abilities to change lives, create prosperity and enrich communities."
Dr Cagla Stevenson, Senior Analyst at RAND Europe, said:
“The Research Excellence Framework case studies provide a fantastic opportunity to look at the impact of Scottish research locally, nationally and internationally. Our study clearly shows that Scottish research has made significant contributions across different areas of society, from drug discovery and the marine environment to cultural heritage and education.”