Higher Education Minister visits University of Strathclyde’s innovation zone

The University of Strathclyde welcomed the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead to learn more about Scotland’s first ever Innovation District.

The Minister, who was welcomed to campus by the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, received a tour of the flagship Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District.

The district was officially launched at the University in February and is transforming the way academia, business and industry collaborate to bring competitive advantage to Scotland.


The Minister met with scientists and engineers who have forged strong partnerships with industry, including Professor Graeme Burt who is carrying out research into low carbon energy. He also met with Simon Andrews, Executive Director, Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd, from Fraunhofer’s Centre for Applied Photonics, a world-leading centre in the field of applied laser research and development, which is also based at TIC.

 Richard Lochhead_and Professor Alastair Florence Strathclyde - resized.

Mr Lochhead also learned about the University’s Graduate Apprenticeships and Widening Access programmes and met with students. He was also updated on the new £56 million industry-led Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), in which Strathclyde is a strategic partner, and which forms a key component of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, within which Strathclyde is the anchor partner.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister to see first-hand the world-leading education, research and innovation taking place here at Strathclyde in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District.

“Along with our partners, we have invested more than £100 million in the pioneering Technology and Innovation Centre and neighbouring Inovo building.

“This allows researchers and high-growth firms to work side-by-side in an entrepreneurial environment and create solutions to important industrial and societal challenges across energy, pharmaceuticals, photonics and enabling technologies.

Authentic commitment to collaboration is key and we are focused on creating jobs and opportunities for the people of Glasgow and beyond by transforming the way academics, business, industry and the public sector work in partnership.”

Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Richard Lochhead said: "Innovation is intrinsic to Scotland.

"It is part of our culture, society and our economy, with our scientists often working on the cutting edge of global research.

“These world-leading efforts rely on key collaboration and knowledge sharing, and it was great to see this in action at the Glasgow City Innovation District.

“Having a thriving and dynamic innovation ecosystem is essential for competitiveness and growth."

The Innovation District stretches from George Square to the edge of Glasgow Green and into the east end of the city, and runs from Glasgow Royal Infirmary south to the Clyde, also incorporating the Tontine House incubator and the Garment Factory business hub. It is the result of a successful partnership between Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Scotland.

Plans are also now in development to double the scale of the TIC Zone space to enable co-location of companies and world-class research groups.

New clusters of activity in areas central to economic impact have already emerged, including Quantum, Space, 5G Communications, Health Technology, Industrial Informatics and FinTech.

Significant investment has also been made in the creative sectors and the area is being transformed through City Deal funding which will see the development of new transport initiatives, homes, hotels, commercial space and public realm in the Collegelands site adjacent to High Street.

The District forms a key part of Glasgow’s Economic Strategy to 2023 to create 50,000 new jobs and 1,000 new businesses.