UofG welcomes Secretary of State for Scotland

Published: 1 August 2023

University of Glasgow researchers today welcomed Alister Jack MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, onto campus to showcase new projects funded by the UK Government’s Levelling Up – Innovation Accelerator fund.

University of Glasgow researchers today welcomed Alister Jack MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, onto campus to showcase new projects funded by the UK Government’s Levelling Up – Innovation Accelerator fund.A photo of Uzma Khan (l) and Frank Coton of the University of Glasgow with Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack
In March, six projects linked to the University were announced as the recipients of £20.9m in new funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. The projects will receive a further £16.2m in contributions from partner organisations.
The new funding, totalling £37.1m, will support developments in healthcare, drug discovery and development, quantum technologies, sensing, digital access to museums, and financial technologies.
This follows the recent announcement in June that Glasgow City Region will become one of the UK’s new Investment Zones, designed to foster entrepreneurship and build on the significant research strengths within the city area.
During the visit, Mr Jack was given a tour of the University’s Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre, where some of the projects will be based.
He met representatives from the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, which have both been supported by the Innovation Accelerator funding.
They were joined by colleagues from Glasgow City Region, including Director of Regional Economic Growth, Kevin Rush, who helped co-ordinate successful funding bids for a total of 11 projects in and around the city.
Mr Jack was given a tour of the University of Glasgow’s ‘Museums in the Metaverse’ project, which will use extended and virtual reality technology to widen access to cultural assets stored in the world’s museums, boosting our support for innovation in creative industries.  
He also visited the labs of Chemify Ltd, a spinout from the University which is working to digitise chemistry to speed up the development of new advances in medicine, farming, materials science, and green energy. Alister Jack MP receives a tour of the labs of Chemify Ltd
Uzma Khan, the University of Glasgow’s Vice-Principal Economic Development and Innovation, led the visit along with Professor Frank Coton, the University’s Senior Vice Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).
Ms Khan said: “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Scotland to the University to discuss the groundbreaking research and development projects that are being supported by Innovation Accelerator funding.
“The funding will help us and our partners in the public and private sectors to deliver transformative benefits by creating new jobs, supporting innovation and application of new technologies in a wide range of sectors, and in generating economic and wider benefit across the Glasgow City Region.
“The University of Glasgow already contributes £4.4bn to the UK economy, and we’re committed to building on that through our Innovation Strategy and in creating tangible impact through our ambitious plans for the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District. Our strategy has a clear vision to use our discoveries and innovations to change the world for the better and gain recognition internationally as an entrepreneurial University.” 
Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, said: "Scottish universities are among the best in the world and it was fascinating to visit the University of Glasgow today and hear about all the excellent work they are doing.
"Enabling and investing in innovation is a key priority for the UK Government and it is exciting to see the progress already underway as a result of our investment in Glasgow - including through the Innovation Accelerator and Glasgow City Region Deal. I look forward to seeing this progress continuing and effective partnerships growing as plans for the Glasgow Investment Zone are developed." 
The University of Glasgow’s Innovation Strategy calls for a doubling of the University’s performance across all elements of its innovation portfolio, embedding the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation across the breadth of the organisation through a strategic drive to change mindsets, connect the University’s community of innovators and supporters, and invest in world-class enabling infrastructure. 
Over the next three years, the strategy will focus on growing the University’s engagement activity with industry and other partners. The University will train more staff than ever before in entrepreneurial practices and mindsets, diversifying the innovation community through new support networks focused around female entrepreneurs and social enterprise, establishing better recognition and reward arrangements for innovators and entrepreneurs, and developing compelling offers for the Church Street and Clinical Innovation Zones.
The University will also take forward a new ambitious plan for the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), a citywide partnership led by the University, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise. GRID is aimed at taking forward high-potential innovation projects based within some of Scotland’s most deprived communities, and will seek to work with the community and its key stakeholders to ensure that everyone can benefit from the University’s world-changing work.
The six Innovation Accelerator-funded projects linked to the University of Glasgow are:

  • Museums in the Metaverse, led by the University of Glasgow.
  • Modular chemical robot farms for chemical manufacturing, led by Chemify Limited.
  • Risk stratification tool for colorectal polyp surveillance, led by the University of Glasgow.
  • Pilot Accelerator for National Institute for Quantum Integration, led by University of Glasgow.
  • FinTech, Centre of Innovation in Financial Regulation, led by Fintech Scotland.
  • Next generation remote-sensing technologies, led by Thales UK Limited.

The Innovation Accelerator programme is investing £100m in 26 transformative R&D projects to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters – Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands.
The programme is pioneering a new model of R&D decision-making that brings together local leaders, industry and research organisations to harness innovation in support of regional economic growth.

First published: 1 August 2023

<< August