The extra financial support is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of Scottish universities and their industry partners when bidding for UK-wide funding pots. The Scottish Funding Council will allocate the funding to individual institutions.
The top-up funding will be allocated in 2018-19, through increases 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, for example to bid jointly for further competitive funding from UK Research and Innovation.
Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Our world-leading university research sector is one of this country’s great strengths and that is why we are supporting it this year with close to £300 million of investment. 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.”
Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The research carried out in Scotland’s universities is world–leading and impacts on every aspect of our world, from the apps on our smartphones to the treatment of patients in hospital. We want to continue to grow our economy and get the very best for Scotland’s people through the application of new knowledge in our daily lives. The additional investment in research and innovation announced today will help us to do that, in partnership with Scottish businesses and UK-wide funding opportunities.”