Why is this National Indicator important?
In terms of quality, Scotland's university-based research is amongst the best in the world. However, the level of business research and development lags behind that of most developed countries. If the Scottish Government is to realise its ambitions for delivering significantly higher and sustainable levels of economic growth, then more of the high quality knowledge being created in Scotland's universities needs to be effectively transferred for and into the Scottish economy.
Enhanced knowledge exchange from universities has the potential to contribute to both improved economic output from existing businesses and the creation of new, high value businesses with the capacity to grow and energise Scotland's GDP performance. It also has the potential to deliver social and cultural gains for Scotland.
What will influence this National Indicator?
The exchange of knowledge between universities to the wider economy is complex and can take many forms. Knowledge exchange activities range from public lectures, the establishment of new spin-out companies, and project collaboration between universities and business or other organisations. The sheer range and nature of activities which knowledge exchange encompasses means that knowledge exchange is not easily measured systematically across Scotland; is dependent on demand from businesses or public/voluntary organisations; and, in many cases, does not raise income for universities. Moreover, the exchange of knowledge from universities can occur both directly and indirectly.
What is the Government's role?
The enterprise networks and the Scottish Funding Council are tasked with working to improve innovation and knowledge exchange. These bodies employ a wide variety of mechanisms to enhance university-business engagement and the effective exchange and utilisation of the knowledge and expertise located within Scottish universities. This includes support and incentives to stimulate an increase in demand for university innovation from Scottish businesses, which are increasingly able to absorb and exploit such knowledge and expertise to improve their own performance, and that of the Scottish economy.
How is Scotland performing?
Over the period 2002-03 to 2010-11, there has been an overall increase in the knowledge exchange index. Since the 2007-08 baseline year, the index rose 3.4 per cent in 2008-09 before falling by 2.7 per cent in 2009-2010, driven by a drop in income from UK industry, commerce & public corporations. In 2010-11, the latest year for which data is available, the index rose by 2.2 per cent. This was driven by an increase in: income from non-UK industry, commerce and public corporations; income from venture capital; and income from third sector translational awards.
Note: The Scottish Agricultural College is excluded from the data for all years. The Open University in Scotland is excluded from the data for the years prior to 2004/05
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page
Source: Scottish Funding Council's Knowledge Transfer Metrics Return
Criteria for recent change
The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 2.5 percent suggest the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2.5 percent or more suggests the position is improving ; whereas a decrease of 2.5 percent or more suggests the position is worsening.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Who are our partners?
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Scottish Funding Council
Related Strategic Objectives
Wealthier and Fairer