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Scotland's food, drink industries to get cash injection

 


The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has announced plans to invest in the Scottish Universities Industry Innovation Network for Food and Drink, a new partnership between Scottish universities and the food and drink industries. 


Seventeen universities and other higher education institutions (HEIs) will take part in the partnership, which is designed to help meet research and innovation needs of Scottish food and drink companies. Academics will work with businesses and trade sectors on "knowledge exchange" projects in areas including food science, supply chain development, waste management, packaging design and marketing. 


The 17 HEIs are the University of Aberdeen; University of Abertay Dundee; University of Dundee; University of Edinburgh; University of Glasgow; Glasgow Caledonian University; Heriot-Watt University; University of the Highlands and Islands; Edinburgh Napier University; Robert Gordon University; University of St Andrews; University of Strathclyde; University of Stirling; Queen Margaret University; University of the West of Scotland; Glasgow School of Art; Scottish Agricultural College; University of Aberdeen; University of Abertay Dundee; University of Dundee; University of Edinburgh; University of Glasgow; Glasgow Caledonian University; Heriot-Watt University; University of the Highlands and Islands; Edinburgh Napier University; Robert Gordon University; University of St Andrews; University of Strathclyde; University of Stirling; Queen Margaret University; University of the West of Scotland; Glasgow School of Art; and Scottish Agricultural College. Aberdeen University, the University of Abertay Dundee, and Heriot-Watt University together with Interface, a knowledge connection agency for business, will lead the project.

 

SFC will invest £2.64 million over five years to a total funding package of £10.58 million of cash and in-kind investment. The 17 partner universities will contribute £3.1 million of in-kind support, with trade associations, such as Scotland Food and Drink and participating companies also providing £4.84 million of cash and in-kind support.

 

SFC was established as The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council by
the Scottish Parliament in 2005 and is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. The Council notes that Scotland's food and drink industry is a key sector of Scotland's economy and generates more than £9.5 billion per year, and employs more than 360,000 people. The Scottish Government identified the food and drink industry as one of six key industrial sectors drivers for future economic growth in its Economic Strategy.

 

Making the announcement at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Innovation is a fundamental part of any successful industry. The food and drink sector is worth billions of pounds to our economy and has a major contribution to play in securing Scotland's economic recovery.


"The Scottish Government wants to see the sector grow to £12.5 billion by 2017, and I am wholly committed to heralding Scotland's larder both at home and abroad through our Recipe for Success vision," he adds. "This £2.64 million package will bring together the very best talent and research from academia and business, helping to strengthen and expand every aspect of this crucial industry. Linking up with our internationally renowned universities can only increase the sector's global competitiveness and provide a valued contribution to our aim of making Scotland a land of food and drink."

 

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