A world-class academic offer and bold data-driven agenda lie at the heart of modern Edinburgh’s sustainable, knowledge-intensive regional economy. More than half of total Scottish research activity is undertaken in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

An Innovation Hub Jan 2019

Research excellence

Acknowledged global strengths in data science, cyber security, robotics and stem cell research are driving both commercialisation and technology transfer, ensuring Edinburgh is ideally positioned to help shape tomorrow’s world.

Around half of the region's workforce is employed in knowledge intensive jobs including computing, communications, scientific research and across the creative industries.

That workforce is reinforced by fresh graduate talent emerging from the city’s four universities, offering complementary research strengths across a broad spectrum of fields.

I think the blend of culture, connectivity, quality of life and ambition is what makes Edinburgh one of the most magical cities on the planet.

Bruce Walker, Founder, WeAreTheFuture

Critical mass

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities. It is ranked 4th in the UK for research power and in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 83% of its research activity was classified as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Likewise, 82% of the research undertaken at Heriot Watt University was ranked world-class, with a strong focus on science, engineering, technology and business.

At Edinburgh BioQuarter, collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors is helping to bring together a critical mass of research with clinical opportunities at a state-of-the-art teaching hospital, all amplified by Edinburgh’s unique strengths in data analytics and bioinformatics.

The region’s capability to deliver research with a global impact can be seen at the Easter Bush Research Consortium where up to 600 scientists from The Roslin Institute, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Moredun Research Institute work on animal diseases and its implications for human health.

Data-Driven Innovation

A drive to train 100,000 Scots with data skills over the next decade has been launched by two of Edinburgh's universities. The Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region deal, which is being backed with cash from both the UK and Scottish governments.

The University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University are both involved in the initiative, which also aims to help 1,000 companies across the city region. The two universities will increase data science teaching, and will also support schools and colleges across the area to get the subject into more classrooms.

The initiative will increase the provision of data and digital skills in the workforce and use their world-leading expertise in research and data analytics to improve products and services, transforming the city region into the data capital of Europe.


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