Scotland Policy Conferences

Research and innovation in Scotland post-2020: strengthening collaboration, attracting talent and addressing funding issues after Brexit

TO BE PUBLISHED October 2019

This seminar will bring together policymakers and key stakeholders to examine the future for research and innovation (R&I) in Scotland.

Delegates will examine government policy for supporting sectors involved in R&I - including the implementation of The Scottish Government’s Economic Action Plan.

We expect discussion on:

  • the piloting of two new productivity clubs to facilitate knowledge exchange and support the spread of innovation and technology;
  • expansion of the Scotland CAN DO: Business Innovation Forum which aims to facilitate a more innovative business culture; and
  • a target to double Scotland’s business expenditure on research and development to £1.7bn per annum by 2025.

Delegates will look at the way forward for developing a successful R&I sector, including developing further collaboration between universities, Innovation Centres and businesses - and supporting the priority sectors for the Scottish economy, such as digital technology, life sciences, and energy.

It follows the Scottish Government’s announcement of a £11.6m increase in funding for university research and innovation which aims to improve the competitiveness of Scottish universities when they are bidding for UK wide funding alongside business partners.

The seminar is also expected to follow the Scottish Funding Council’s review of the University Innovation Fund (UIF) which is examining progress in the delivery of the UIF approach - which aims to incentivise universities to work collaboratively to exploit the research base, and will also review the funding model.

With the review expected to publish shortly there will also be a wider discussion on the future for external funding, particularly after Brexit and with uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future access to funding from Horizon Europe, the European Commission’s replacement for Horizon 2020.

With increased concern in the sector surrounding Scotland’s ability to continue to attract international research talent following Brexit, delegates will discuss how research collaboration links can continue to be maintained with Europe. Further sessions will examine how to promote excellence in research, looking particularly at how best to train and develop researchers and academics - including the development of effective career pathways in R&I.

This seminar comes as Professor Sir Adrian Smith advises the UK Government, prior to the Spending Review, on future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation. It also follows the publication of the UKRI Delivery Plans for 2019-2020, outlining UKRI’s planned contribution towards the government aim to have research and development expenditure reach 2.7% of GDP by 2027.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Scotland Policy Conferences seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates