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First Minister launches innovative business p’ship

First Minister Jack McConnell today launched a new step in the partnership to help Scotland reap the business benefits of research carried out by academics at the University of St Andrews.

St Andrews World-Class, an agreement between the University and Scottish Enterprise Fife, is expected to generate up to 30 new businesses over the next 10 years, ensuring that Scotland’s economy benefits from indigenous knowledge and research as well as inward investment.

The agreement builds on a long- standing relationship between the University and Scottish Enterprise Fife.

Mr McConnell said: “For Scotland’s economy to flourish we must grow our own businesses as well as attracting inward investment. This partnership will help us capitalise on our first class academic research and turn this into business results.

“I believe St Andrews World-Class will transform ideas into commercial reality and pave the way for future economic success, helping build a better, more vibrant Scotland for us all. I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved with this excellent initiative.”

Under the agreement, Scottish Enterprise Fife will provide expertise and significant investment in expanding the activity of the university’s research and enterprise services department while the university focuses on creating high value businesses from their research.

Joe Noble, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Fife, said: “Our partnership with the University of St Andrews has the potential to make a significant impact on both the regional and Scottish economies.

“The university has already shown itself to be a world-class institution and we believe we can build on this and attract some of the best minds in the world. The aim would be to take their research and existing work to a commercial level and produce some truly innovative companies.”

The transformation of university research into successful commercial enterprises will be backed up by additional work between both organisations that will see St Andrews further develop as a significant location within the Scottish economy.

Through St Andrews World-Class, Scottish Enterprise Fife will help the university enhance its competitive advantage as a world class teaching and research institution. Both organisations will also pool their resources to help St Andrews realise its potential as a visitor attraction and a viable commercial base for companies.

Brian Lang, Principal and Vice- Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, said: “The University of St Andrews has taken very seriously the contribution it makes to Scotland’s economy through the production of new ideas and their transformation into processes which have economic impact for Scotland and the world. The partnership between the University and Scottish Enterprise Fife has long flourished but this new initiative means a renewed focusing of joint effort to ensure Scotland’s leading university continues to contribute to Scotland’s economic competitveness.”

ENDS

NOTES TO NEWS EDITORS

1 The close working relationship between the University and SE Fife has already borne fruit with the arrival of the Sasol research and development laboratory on the campus. The South African company’s decision to come to Fife has created posts for 25 PhD level scientists who will lead research into homogeneous catalysis, a process of making chemicals and fuels cheaper and greener.

2 All sciences at the University of St Andrews received a ‘5’ rating in the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council’s 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. Further details on this are available at http://www.st- and.ac.uk/rae01.shtml.

Contact: Marion MacKay (Scottish Executive): 0131 244 2175 or Claire Grainger (University of St Andrews): 07730 415 015 News Release: «NewsReleaseNo» Internet: www.scotland.gov.uk

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