A local partnership of business, public sector and academic institutions led on selecting the project proposals to go forward, working closely with Innovate UK. Glasgow’s Innovation Accelerator (IA) projects will address local economic challenges as well as national and global societal and environmental issues.
With the project selection phase now completed, the IA Programme projects will formally commence this Spring once they have undergone Innovate UK’s normal due diligence checks ahead of formal grant offer letters being issued. (See notes for summary project list).
Speaking on behalf of the eight local councils, Susan Aitken, Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Glasgow City Council Leader said: “The scale of Glasgow City Region’s innovation economy already ranks it as a location of Scottish, UK and international significance. And our recent selection by the UK Government to be one of three UK pilot Innovation Accelerators is affirmation of this. The IA programme will support the Region’s key economic aims of increasing productivity, delivering inclusive growth and achieving net zero. It will create new jobs at all levels and grow the number of successful businesses. Vitally, through leveraging extensive private sector investment and building on our growing international profile it can turbo charge our innovation economy to the next level.”
With a remarkable history rooted in industry and innovation Glasgow City Region is home to world-leading science and technology expertise. A runner-up for the European Capital of Innovation Award, the city-region benefits from commercial advantages in nano tech, fintech, life sciences, digital media, energy and advanced manufacturing. It is also a global capital for the space and satellite industry. Sectors are well served by the city-region’s strong technology platform, wide skills base and significantly lower labour costs than London.
The city-region is also home to three world-class Innovation Districts clustered in a corridor along the River Clyde, five Innovation Centres, four Catapults and three Public Sector Research Establishments.
The pilot UK Innovation Accelerator Programme will provide funding shared across three UK city regions to support a range of transformative Research and Development projects and accelerate the growth of the three high-potential innovation clusters around Glasgow, Manchester and West Midlands.
Minister of State for Science Research & Innovation at DSIT George Freeman said: “Through Record investment in our UK science, technology & innovation sectors, the Innovation Economy is creating new career opportunities in the campuses, clusters & companies of tomorrow. That’s why UKRI is putting clusters at the heart of its £25bn budget up to 2025, and why our £100m Innovation Accelerator Program provides £33m each to three emerging clusters to attract industrial co-investment and become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation. The Glasgow Cluster is becoming a world class hub of R+D in satellite manufacturing, net-zero manufacturing, life sciences, digital design & photonics, Quantum and associated technologies. I’m delighted that local leaders have come together to use our £33m to launch such exciting programs with industry & Universities in this exciting area.”
Local business leaders are central to the Innovation Accelerator partnership.
John Howie, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Babcock International Group and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator Partnership said: “The Innovation Accelerator programme will generate extensive private sector investment for Glasgow City Region on the back of public funding, focused in key growth innovation sectors including advanced manufacturing, space, and precision medicine. I’m proud of the strong partnership we have in the Region which shows how collaboration between industry, our world-leading universities and a supportive public sector can maximise growth in our innovation and entrepreneurial economy. This is good news for Glasgow City Region and we will be delivering further good news for Scotland and the UK throughout this programme.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “As a leading international technological university with a long-standing reputation as a hub for research and innovation, Strathclyde works closely with government, industry and academia to maximum effect – as evidenced through our leading roles in Glasgow City Innovation District and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland. The Glasgow City Region has been transformed by research and innovation in recent years and this substantial funding package through the Glasgow Innovation Accelerator will support a portfolio of projects in a range of key industrial sectors across the region. These projects will provide a further boost to growing jobs, skills and the economy helping to ensure that the Glasgow City Region delivers inclusive opportunities for our citizens and that Glasgow remains Scotland’s economic powerhouse and one of the most important centres of research, development and innovation in the UK.”
Uzma Khan, Vice Principal - Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Glasgow, said: “I’m delighted that the UK Government has chosen to invest in Glasgow to support innovation and R&D. A significant amount of this investment will be linked to the University of Glasgow. It’s a hugely exciting development for Glasgow City Region and one which will catalyse further research, development and innovation in our key sectors delivering benefits for the whole region and our communities. Through the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District, this significant investment will draw on the University of Glasgow’s world-leading research, global reach and strong civic mission to make Glasgow one of the most innovative economies in the UK. By working in close partnership with industry, government, academia and our communities, we will ensure that we create the jobs, wealth and the skills pipeline needed to create productive and thriving places.”
Further details on the programme and projects will be released when the programme formally kicks off in mid-May.