Strategic Plan 2016

Partnerships with industry

We will be a global leader in industry engagement, with strong industrial and commercial funding complementing traditional public sector and third sector support.

Research-led teaching, augmented by high-quality staff, estates, facilities and digital assets, will continue to deliver increased productivity and sustained economic impact. We see widespread benefits of engagement between companies, students, alumni and the University: enhanced student experience, exposure to new ideas, and wider opportunities for research and  its impact.

Relationships across sectors

The University is already a key aid for many businesses and public bodies: a commercial partner, a source of ideas and an educator of talented individuals. We will build and expand on such relationships across all areas of our activity. We will create the capacity, conditions and expertise for interaction between academics, students, business and industry. This will deliver, grow and maintain these relationships locally and globally.

We will sustain  our bond  with Scotland’s  strong  public services, for example  with the mutual support relationship with NHS Lothian, through which research, teaching and patient care are integrated for the benefit of both partners and  patients. 

Multidisciplinary collaboration, enabled by highly experienced business development teams, will be critical to developing long-lasting  strategic industry partnerships. We will do this primarily through three pillars of activity that frame our industry engagement: Talent, Skills and Employability; Research and Development; and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Talent,  Skills and  Employability

Through our Talent, Skills and Employability pillar, we will ensure that our degree programmes remain current and support  student employability. To build engagement with employers we will:

  • seek  employers’ input to course content  and degree programme development and delivery;
  • provide meaningful work-related learning for students, including placements with companies, industry co- sponsorship of doctoral degrees, and paid internships;
  • ensure that graduates are equipped with the abilities and commercial skills that employers need,  through digital and data-related learning opportunities;
  • create  opportunities for staff to move between the University and companies, encouraging innovative partnerships between companies and the University.

Research and  Development

Through our Research and Development pillar, and to ensure that our research can reach  a broad  range  of beneficiaries, we will:

  • partner with industry to allow a better mutual understanding of the practical applications of our research;
  • make our academic expertise  more available to industry through better online information about  our research specialities;
  • employ entrepreneurs-in-residence with proficiencies  in specialist  areas.

Innovation and  Entrepreneurship

Through our Innovation and Entrepreneurship pillar, and to broaden the range  of financial support  for the University, we will:

  • create opportunities for business engagement executives to learn from industry, including learning about routes to market;
  • support pathways to strategic relationships, from single transactional relationships through to integrated partnerships;
  • focus on earning income from our high-value intellectual property;
  • grow and develop  our own venture fund.