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Scotland ups university-industry research funds

The Scottish government has increased the grant funding for university research and innovation by £11.6 million in 2018/19, bringing the total to investment close to £300 million this year.

The extra financial support is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of Scottish universities and their industry partners when bidding for UK-wide funding pots, according to the Scottish government.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Higher Education Minister, said: “Encouraging and strengthening partnerships with industry is vital – it means that, where research leads to real innovation, the Scottish economy benefits too.

“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. 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.”

The Scottish Funding Council will allocate the funding to individual institutions, the government said.

The top up funding will be allocated in 2018/19, through increases – though initially for this year only – in the existing Research Excellence Grant and University Innovation Fund with the expectation that it will be specifically used for research and innovation partnerships with industry.