The UK Government Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s announcement confirms Glasgow’s share of £100 million of Levelling Up funding for 11 ambitious local projects to further accelerate the region’s innovation economy.
The funding, which was announced in the Spring Budget, will go to continued progress for the Glasgow Innovation Accelerator (IA) project to address local economic challenges as well as national and global societal and environmental issues.
A local partnership of business, public sector and academic institutions led on selecting the project proposals to go forward, working closely with Innovate UK.
With the project selection phase now completed, the IA Programme projects will formally commence this Spring once they have undergone Innovate UK’s normal due diligence checks ahead of formal grant offer letters being issued.
Speaking on behalf of the eight local councils, Susan Aitken, Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Glasgow City Council Leader said: “The scale of Glasgow City Region’s innovation economy already ranks it as a location of Scottish, UK and international significance. And our recent selection by the UK Government to be one of three UK pilot Innovation Accelerators is affirmation of this.
“The IA programme will support the Region’s key economic aims of increasing productivity, delivering inclusive growth and achieving net zero. It will create new jobs at all levels and grow the number of successful businesses. Vitally, through leveraging extensive private sector investment and building on our growing international profile it can turbo charge our innovation economy to the next level.”
The pilot UK Innovation Accelerator Programme will provide funding shared across three UK city regions to support a range of transformative Research and Development projects and accelerate the growth of the three innovation clusters around Glasgow, Manchester and West Midlands.
UK Government Minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord, said: “The Chancellor has announced that two exciting quantum projects, one with the University of Glasgow and another with M-Squared Lasers Limited, are among the 11 R&D projects that will help to supercharge the region’s economy. Glasgow is one of three areas sharing in £100 million UK Government Innovation Accelerator funding, and we are investing £2.3 billion to level up across Scotland.”
John Howie, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Babcock International Group and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator Partnership said: “The Innovation Accelerator programme will generate extensive private sector investment for Glasgow City Region on the back of public funding, focused in key growth innovation sectors including advanced manufacturing, space, and precision medicine.
“I’m proud of the strong partnership we have in the Region which shows how collaboration between industry, our world-leading universities and a supportive public sector can maximise growth in our innovation and entrepreneurial economy. This is good news for Glasgow City Region and we will be delivering further good news for Scotland and the UK throughout this programme.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The Glasgow City Region has been transformed by research and innovation in recent years and this substantial funding package through the Glasgow Innovation Accelerator will support a portfolio of projects in a range of key industrial sectors across the region.
“These projects will provide a further boost to growing jobs, skills and the economy helping to ensure that the Glasgow City Region delivers inclusive opportunities for our citizens and that Glasgow remains Scotland’s economic powerhouse and one of the most important centres of research, development and innovation in the UK.”
Uzma Khan, Vice Principal – Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Glasgow, said: “I’m delighted that the UK Government has chosen to invest in Glasgow to support innovation and R&D. A significant amount of this investment will be linked to the University of Glasgow.
“It’s an exciting development which builds on previous successes from the University in attracting investment to the city of Glasgow. Those include the ongoing development of our campus in the west end of the city, which has built cutting-edge teaching, research and community facilities, and our expansion into the south side with the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District, or GRID, where some of the newly-funded projects will be based.
“The innovation projects, funded through the Innovation Accelerator pilot and matched by funding from a wide range of partners across industry and academia, will use our world-leading strengths in research and innovation to deliver job creation, wealth and the skills pipeline needed to create productive and thriving places.”
Further details on the programme and projects will be released when the programme formally kicks off in mid-May.