Science and Industrial Dynamics in Scotland

Omidvar, Omid; Tait, Joyce and Wield, David (2014). Science and Industrial Dynamics in Scotland. Innogen Working Paper No. 110, Edinburgh.



This paper is intended to understand the evolution of the Scottish science and innovation systems before the Scottish independence referendum of September 2014. Scotland traditionally has a strong science base, and world-leading universities driving the development of science, together with a diverse range of associated research institutes, which mostly survived the Thatcher government rationalisation and privatisation of public research institutes. The science system has been strengthened during the 2000s as devolution brought a set of new and expanded funding streams into the existing UK-based institutions. The paper first traces key elements of the historical development of the Scottish science system, and the relationship between science and innovation. It shows that the science system already operates with some, though limited, autonomy from the rest of the UK. This is followed by an analysis of the weak relationship between Scottish science and the Scottish innovation system. Finally, it presents some thoughts on the future prospects for science and innovation post-referendum.

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