The report for the Scottish Government, which was announced by Economy Secretary Derek Mackay, will consider how the immense strengths of Scotland’s universities can be channelled to the maximum economic benefit for Scotland by enhancing industrial partnerships and promoting greater collaboration across the sector.
A key aspect of the Muscatelli Report will be to examine international best practices and to advise on how Scotland can learn from other innovative European economies.
The Muscatelli Report will make some key recommendations for all actors in the higher education sector to consider, including government, public agencies and universities, and is expected to be published by the autumn of 2019.
Mr Mackay said: “Scottish Universities are engines of knowledge and growth and it is important we ensure they fulfil their significant economic potential.
“I have therefore asked one of Scotland’s foremost economists, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, to work in partnership with the Strategic Board, the Scottish Funding Council and the higher education sector on how universities can further achieve these aims building on the existing evidence and good practice in this area
“The Muscatelli Report will examine how Scotland’s education sector works in partnership with industry to help drive inclusive growth and prepare our economy for the future.”
Sir Anton said: “I am delighted to be asked to take forward this important report by the Cabinet Secretary – and to see the level of emphasis the Scottish Government is placing on the role of universities in delivering inclusive economic growth.
“Our universities are already major driving forces of Scotland’s economy – but it is absolutely right that we look to go even further and to maximise our impact on job-creation and growth in the communities we serve.
“For a country of our size, the quality of our institutions and our research is almost unparalleled – and this is a competitive economic advantage we simply must capitalise on in the coming years.
“Already across the country, exciting partnerships with major industry, SMEs, spin-outs and social enterprises are already underway, with many success stories to be celebrated – and I hope that the outcomes from this report will offer the chance to build on these successes, learn from international best practice and put Scotland on the road to being the best place in the world for industry to partner with universities.
“Our universities only succeed when Scotland succeeds – and Scotland will only meet its full economic and social potential with a thriving university sector, working with industry and other partners and translating our world-leading work into tangible economic benefits for our country.
“I am very much looking forward to playing my part in taking the economic impact of our universities to the next level, and to engaging with colleagues across the sector as I take forward this report.”