Economic report to advise on boosting Scottish university links with industry

One of Scotland’s leading economists is to head up a study on how the country’s universities can increase ties with industry to boost economic growth.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli will lead the report for the Scottish Government examining how Scotland’s universities can capitalise on industrial partnerships.

The report will also examine international examples and advise how Scotland can learn from other innovative European economies.

It is expected to be published in the autumn and will make recommendations for government, universities and public agencies.

Announcing the report, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Scottish universities are engines of knowledge and growth and it is important we ensure they fulfil their significant economic potential.

“I have therefore asked one of Scotland’s foremost economists, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, to work in partnership with the Strategic Board, the Scottish Funding Council and the higher education sector on how universities can further achieve these aims, building on the existing evidence and good practice in this area.

“The Muscatelli Report will examine how Scotland’s education sector works in partnership with industry to help drive inclusive growth and prepare our economy for the future.”

Unversity of Glasgow principal Sir Anton said he was “delighted” to be asked to lead the report and by the emphasis the Government is placing on universities delivering economic growth.

He said: “Our universities are already major driving forces of Scotland’s economy – but it is absolutely right that we look to go even further and to maximise our impact on job-creation and growth in the communities we serve.

“For a country of our size, the quality of our institutions and our research is almost unparalleled – and this is a competitive economic advantage we simply must capitalise on in the coming years.

“Already across the country, exciting partnerships with major industry, SMEs, spin-outs and social enterprises are underway, with many success stories to be celebrated – and I hope that the outcomes from this report will offer the chance to build on these successes, learn from international best practice and put Scotland on the road to being the best place in the world for industry to partner with universities.

“Our universities only succeed when Scotland succeeds – and Scotland will only meet its full economic and social potential with a thriving university sector, working with industry and other partners and translating our world-leading work into tangible economic benefits for our country.”