Science in Scotland
Although Scotland is a relatively small country, its output in terms of scientific research is outstanding. It has just 0.1% of the world’s population but produces 1% of the world’s published research, ranking very highly in terms of research citations per capita. 55% of this comes from international collaboration, the highest of any country in the world.
Scotland has its own devolved Parliament, and the Scottish Government is responsible for all issues which have been devolved, such as education and health. In 2008, the Scottish Government published "Science for Scotland". ‘This will help:
- Deliver improvements in public services, such as to the NHS;
- Identify strategic growth opportunities for existing businesses using science to solve their problems, develop new products or exceed their customers' needs;
- Attract inward investment, and provide jobs - for the highly skilled and qualified - in sectors that underpin the economy;
- Find answers to global issues which impact our daily lives such as climate change and food security, and develop technology to enhance our living and work spaces and keep us connected or entertained.’
The Government is committed to working with business and institutions on developing the science base, international profile and attracting inward investment, and developing knowledge exchange.
The Scottish Government Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor also promotes science education and communication throughout Scotland to make science more accessible, encourage more science students and to show its impact on our daily lives.
Research pooling and collaborative science
One of the unique aspects of science in Scotland is the collaborative atmosphere between universities and research institutes. Research facilities and expertise are often shared between different institutions so that scientists and students have access to the best opportunities for furthering their research and education.
The research pooling initiative was created by the Scottish Funding Council in 2003 to encourage researchers across Scottish higher education to pool their resources and respond to increasing international competition. Research pooling has been implemented in various fields including chemistry, physics, economics, engineering and mathematics, geosciences, environment and society, and the life sciences.
More information can be found at www.sfc.ac.uk/research/research.aspx
Technology and Enterprise
Scotland has a good reputation for the transfer of knowledge from the research base to industrial and commercial applications. The Scottish Institute for Enterprise promotes an enterprise culture within universities and boosts the commercial potential of university science and technology research.