Record-breaking year for research

The University has attracted record levels of investment for its pioneering research work.

Golden boy reflected in Old College windows

Figures show that the University was awarded £249 million to fund its research in 2008/09, 17 per cent more than the £212 million received in 2007/08.

The awards - won in competition with other universities and research centres - strengthen the University’s position as Scotland’s leading research institution.

They support work across a range of disciplines, including medicine, veterinary medicine, science, engineering and the humanities.

Large awards

The awards are made from a variety of sources, including government, industry, commerce and charities.

Of the 1064 awards, 41 were for more than £1 million. Sponsors from Scotland awarded 172 contracts, totalling £24.2 million.

Among the most significant research awards are £4 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for research into high-performance computing, and £3 million from the Medical Research Council to establish a gene sequencing facility.

New companies

The University also filed a record 89 patents to protect new inventions by research staff, and a total of 38 licence agreements to allow commercial use of technologies developed on campus.

University staff or students created a total of 26 companies, the highest number formed in one year by a Scottish university.

The firms include Rev Drive, whose revolutionary bicycle gearbox won the 2009 Scottish Institute for Enterprise New Ventures competition, and Hoodeasy, a custom clothing company that finished second in the same contest.

Despite the difficult global economic climate, the University also increased its income from consultancy work to a record £4.5 million, up from £3.6 million in 2007/08.

Of that figure, £1.7 million came from 143 contracts with Scottish organisations.

These record figures are testament to the strength and depth of the University’s research excellence. We are clearly maintaining our position as one of the leading research universities in the United Kingdom.

Derek WaddellChief executive of Edinburgh Research and Innovation