UN SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
A University of Glasgow spin-out company with more than 25 employees, Chemify is developing the automated technology of chemputation: universal chemical synthesis controlled by computers. As part of its £25M series A investment now secured, along with Levelling Up Innovation Accelerator funding of £7.5M, Chemify aim to expand the company to more than 100 people. Chemify will undertake research and development to build a prototype of a scalable pilot plant capable of becoming a chemical ‘giga factory’ for the manufacture of trillions of chemicals on demand for use in pharmaceuticals, high-value chemical manufacturing, new materials, farming and green energy solutions.
By developing plug-and-play chemical reaction, process and purification units, Chemify will develop a new standardised technology that will set the basis for chemical manufacturing for the next decades. Chemify will disrupt the centuries-old tradition of chemists making molecules in dedicated laboratories with fume hoods.
Chemify will leverage its collaboration with the world-leading Digital Chemistry team at the University and exploit its geographical location with respect to many of the world-leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centres located in the Greater Glasgow area to put Glasgow at the heart of a digital chemistry manufacturing revolution – creating new high-quality jobs and attracting major inward investment to the region for years to come.
The University of Glasgow-led INCISE project is this year’s recipient of the Innovative Collaboration Award at the Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards 2023. INCISE – or INtegrated TeChnologies for Improved Polyp SurveillancE – is a collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and industry partners. The project has also received funding through the Levelling Up Innovation Accelerator programme. The INCISE project aims to transform bowel cancer screening in the UK by developing a tool that can predict which patients with pre-cancerous growths in their bowels, called polyps, will develop further polyps. This new tool will reduce the number of people needing repeated colonoscopy, reducing unpleasant experiences and complications, improving access to colonoscopy by reducing surveillance lists, and reducing costs to the NHS, while maintaining a safe follow-up regime for patients.
UofG spinout company Chemify has raised more than £33 million to digitise chemistry and speed up the development of new materials to advance medicine, farming and green energy by automating the process of designing new molecules.
Learning & teaching
The International Management & Design Innovation MSc, delivered by our triple-accredited Adam Smith Business School (ASBS), has been developed to help students understand how design in practice works, and to examine its importance to a modern international company. A powerful partnership between ASBS and The Glasgow School of Art, students are taught how design drives social and economic development and innovation and are encouraged to tackle complex problems and view issues from a variety of socio-cultural and behavioural angles that play into successful innovation.
Innovation demands collaboration, a deep understanding of research disciplines, an unconventional way of thinking and diverse skill sets beyond the traditional research track. To support the work of our academics, we are making a significant investment in specialist innovation expertise to strengthen the professional teams within our Innovation Directorate. These roles will help build and manage the University’s spin-out and licensing portfolios, foster relationships with industry, public sector bodies, funders, government, charities and other external stakeholders, and will be responsible for growing contract and collaborative research with a view to developing strategic partnerships. This investment will also support the University’s participation in strategic programmes such as the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District and ensure that our innovations land where they can have the greatest social and economic impact.
The Museums in the Metaverse project will create a ground-breaking two-sided Extended Reality (XR) Culture & Heritage platform. It will empower online visitors to explore vast cultural assets in engaging new ways; enable novice and expert curators to create new content; and explore models of use to support sustainable economic and cultural growth. The project will harness the University’s global reputation for research in digital cultural heritage and XR to develop an innovative solution to the physical and geographical constraints that can limit concrete exhibitions to less than 10% of the objects held in collections and limit audience reach by cost, distance and accessibility. One side of the proposed platform is for visitors to gain access to a rich array of museums, sites, objects; and novel and dynamic experiences. The other is for virtual curators, where experts and novices alike can build enriching and entertaining narratives using objects and virtual environments that have never before been placed together in the real world. Partners are Edify, Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums Scotland and the University of Glasgow.