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Why Scotland

Research and innovation

Scotland has helped shape the modern world. From the steam engine that kicked off the industrial revolution, through to modern medical advances and the invention of the globally used MRI scanner, Scotland has long been a country of innovation and research.

Today Scotland's academic research is recognised as being truly world class. With a higher density of academic and research professionals than anywhere else in the UK, Scotland had more publications in the top 1% of the most cited publications in the world than any other UK nation or EU comparator country.

We know how important an active and engaged academic community can be to an association. Whether looking for local ambassadors to host events, or to forge new partnerships when holding a congress in a country, associations and academic excellence go hand in hand.

Scotland's research base helps drive the economy and attracts students, researchers, and academics from around the world. Association events have a key role to play in these successes and help enrich our society.

On this page you can discover some of Scotland's key research units and our national innovation centres. But this is just the beginning of what is going on in Scotland. To delve further, or to discuss making a connection with a Scottish organisation, contact us now.

National Innovation Centres

Scotland has 7 National Innovation Centres - backed by the Scottish Government. The Centres aim to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship across Scotland's key economic sectors, create jobs and grow the economy.

Innovation Centres have backing from industry and draw on all of Scotland's research expertise in the relevant sector to work on problems and opportunities identified by industry.

Innovation Centres support skills and training to develop the next generation of researchers and knowledge exchange practitioners through masters and post-doctoral level provision.

CENSIS (Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems)

CENSIS enables industry innovators and university researchers to collaborate at the forefront of market-focused sensor and imaging systems (SIS) innovation, developing products and services for global markets to create sustainable economic value in the Scottish economy.

Read more about CENSIS here.

CSIC (Construction Scotland Innovation Centre)

Construction Scotland (CSiC) supports Scotland’s construction related businesses to innovate, collaborate and grow by matching innovation requirements with academic and business support. Focusing on business, product, process and service forms of innovation.

Find out more about CSIC here.

DHI (Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre)

DHI's focus is innovation in digital health and care to help the people of Scotland live longer, healthier lives, while providing sustainable and inclusive growth for our economy. We collaborate, co-design and transform great ideas into real solutions that have benefits to the system and our citizens.

Learn more about DHI here.

IBioIC (Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre)

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) bridges the gap between education and industry and is at the hub of a growing network where industry freely interacts with academics and other business leaders to generate new business ideas.

Read more about IBioIC here.

SAIC (Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre)

Industry success through research partnerships. That, in a nutshell, is what the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) delivers. We connect industry with academia, supporting collaboration on key sector issues and opportunities, and helping drive growth towards 2030.

Find out more about SAIC here.

PMS-IC (Precision Medicine Innovation Centre)

Precision Medicine creates a unique and sustainable capability to serve the health needs of the Scottish population. PMS-IC aims to improve the treatment of acute and chronic disease in patients and provide new tools to enable health care providers to diagnose and treat, by supporting the development of new and better.

Learn more about PMS-IC here.

The Data Lab

The Data Lab is an innovation centre focused on helping Scottish industry to capitalise on a growing market opportunity in data science. We are here to facilitate collaboration and generate significant economic, social, and scientific value from data for Scotland.

Read more about The Data Lab here.

Research Centres and Universities

Scotland has 19 Universities across all of our cities and regions - with some famous old names and including the unique University of the Highlands and Islands with its satellite campus spread across the north of Scotland and onto the Islands.

Scotland has a particular strength in the life sciences including precision medicine, genetics, drug research, nursing and midwifery and veterinary disciplines. But as a technical engineering nation, we also have considerable depth in mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, tech and data, nano-computing, robotics and satellites. Not to forget the arts and humanities, professional studies, video game development and more - too many too list.

With an incredible depth of expertise and research we know you can find the expertise you need to connect with. Follow the links below to discover the research specialisms at Scotland's leading universities.