Scottish research to get £11.6m boost to compete within UK
The Scottish Government has announced an increase in its grant funding for university research and innovation
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Scottish universities are set to get a funding boost from the Scottish Government to help them compete for UK funding projects.
The Scottish Government is increasing its grant funding for university research and innovation by £11.6m in 2018/19, bringing the total to £296.2m.
The announcement comes amid uncertainty in the sector around European funding after Brexit.
The UK Government has said it will increase research funding by at least 20 per cent to compensate.
The new funds in Scotland will be administered by the Scottish Funding Council.
Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville described the sector as “one of this country’s great strengths”, contributing to the economy.
“This extra grant will increase the competitiveness of research teams from Scottish universities when they are bidding for UK-wide funding together with industry partners,” she said.
“It is important we secure as much of this investment in Scotland as possible, especially given the uncertainty our research and innovation sector is facing as a result of the Brexit vote.”
Stuart Fancey, director of research and innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The research carried out in Scotland’s universities is world-leading and impacts on every aspect of our world, from the apps on our smartphones to the treatment of patients in hospital.
“We want to continue to grow our economy and get the very best for Scotland’s people through the application of new knowledge in our daily lives.
“The additional investment in research and innovation announced today will help us to do that, in partnership with Scottish businesses and UK-wide funding opportunities.”
Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, welcomed the increase, saying it would help universities link with businesses and charities.
“Our competitors around the world have ramped up how much they invest in research and development; the UK Government has committed a 20 per cent real-terms increase in research and innovation investment as a core part the Industrial Strategy,” he said.
“This parallel investment from the Scottish Government is very much needed if we are to stay competitive and to have a chance of bringing a bigger share of research income back to Scotland from UK sources.”
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