Engage with Strathclyde takes place 5th-8th May, 2015. In this blog post, Rachel Clark, Yvonne Kinnaird and Grant Thomson, all Engage with Strathclyde team members, give some insight into how the programme fosters collaborations and some of the innovative and imaginative events you can expect.

The University of Strathclyde’s flagship programme Engage with Strathclyde (Engage) is transforming the way the University reaches out to public, private and third sector organisations. It’s a week of innovative and imaginative events that is building in reputation and has attracted more than 2,000 delegates from 550 organisations in its third year (2014). With over 50 events this year, Engage is making a difference to the knowledge exchange taking place between our staff and delegates from external organisations, whether this is to initiate new, or escalate existing, relationships.

Engage has been running since 2012 and is growing in popularity both internally as staff want to run more events and externally by the fact that the number of attendees is increasing. Another important fact is that the number of organisations represented at events is growing substantially (40% from 2013 to 2014) indicating that the reputation and publicity surrounding the week is reaching the external community. Delegates have the opportunity through a range of collaborations to gain access to the many different ways of working with the University. For example, delegates can discover collaborative and consultancy opportunities to enhance their business, influence policy or share best practice in the sector, identify licensing and commercialisation opportunities or simply establish a network of contacts in a specific field for opportunities at a later date.

An example of these beneficial collaborations is the new Centre for Health Policy that was launched in the third year of Engage, which provides research and innovation programmes and creates impact in the area of public health and wellbeing. The idea for the Centre developed from discussions during an event in Engage 2013, where critical networks came together and facilitated its establishment. The Centre Directors, Lee Knifton and Neil Quinn are joined by Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde and former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, who is Chair of the Centre for Health Policy. He brings an unrivalled international dimension to the Centre’s work.

This is just one example of many that highlight how the Engage Team are keen to assist individual members of staff to help to form the event ideas from the early stages. They are excited to see the development from the simple idea of running an event to the unique collaborations these events will bring. Their focus on outcomes and interaction with external organisations from the outset encourages staff to make those connections in advance of, during and after their event.

This success benefits the university overall not only in raising the profile and marketing of the brand that Strathclyde is a place of useful learning, but also in the fact that it is a leader in creating successful collaborations.

Delegates attend an event for many different reasons; it’s an opportunity to see that the University of Strathclyde is open for business! Take the opportunity to come along and attend an event (click here to see the calendar of events), visit the Images of Research Exhibition in the Technology and Innovation Centre and talk to staff about how your organisation could benefit by Engaging with Strathclyde.

Watch the video below to find out more on Engage and follow us on Twitter (@EngageStrath) to keep up to date with the latest news.

ENGAGE VIDEO 2014 from Engage on Vimeo.


Look-out for more posts from Engage with Strathclyde participants on the Glasgow City of Science Blog in the coming days and weeks.