As host for the Scottish Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (Scottish IKE), City of Glasgow College helps business benefit from research and innovation interventions.
A notable example is the college’s support for SME, Altitude Thinking.
Through Scottish IKE, the college was able to access over £40,000 of innovation funding to enable former engineering student, Dale Colley, founder of Altitude Thinking, to develop an aquatic drone equipped with a range of sensors that can monitor oxygen levels, pH levels, and turbidity, chemical and biological compounds in large bodies of water.
This successful collaboration also increased awareness, amongst curriculum teams at the college, of how new product development can enhance environmental sustainability.
As part of an international network, Scottish IKE has generated over one million pounds of new investment for business, creating a unique collaboration of industry, academia and business.
“Innovation is critical to the functioning of society,” says Stuart McDowall, Head of Innovation and STEM at City of Glasgow College.
“The organisations which understand that are the ones most likely to succeed. Our college has long recognised the importance of innovative thinking. We see it as key in taking the college forward, and it’s playing an increasingly important role in education.”
The college’s ambitions in this area align with the Scottish Government’s 10-year plan to establish Scotland as a world-class entrepreneurial nation. The strategy has the notable aim of making Scotland’s businesses, industries and regions more productive and innovative, while emphasising the important role that skills will play.
“As host to Scottish IKE, the UK’s only professional body for innovators, we are part of an international network of institutes set up to lead development and thinking around innovation,” said Stuart.
“Our main role lies in delivering certified innovation courses which provide a skills and training pathway for business. We also work with a range of public and private sector organisations to develop and deliver funded innovation and applied research projects, which are proving increasingly popular because companies want and need to innovate.”
“At the start of the pandemic there was a rapid move to the digital world which I think a lot of organisations didn’t see coming. IT teams quickly changed infrastructures and implemented new software and tools to maintain the delivery of products and services. Businesses are now looking at where they need to invest to build their capabilities.”
City of Glasgow College was the first institution in the UK to achieve Investor in Innovations status linked to an ISO standard – a leading-edge standard which gives organisations a practical means to assess, benchmark and validate innovation capability.
“Innovation is essential to our college as we continue to ensure our offer is responsive and aligned to the future needs, expectations and aspirations of students, industry and wider stakeholders,” adds Stuart.
Scottish IKE at City of Glasgow College brings an unrivalled combination of educational expertise, and an ambition to create an exciting innovation environment and opportunities for students, entrepreneurs, and businesses in Scotland and beyond.