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Launch of Edinburgh Science Triangle

30/09/2004

An initiative by seven leading science and technology parks around the capital to jointly market and promote their world class expertise was launched today.

Investment in science, research and world class universities are fundamental to growing the economy, Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace said today as he launched the Edinburgh Science Triangle.

He told an audience at Pentlands Science Park that yesterday's Budget announcement by the Executive had 'set out a clear and deliberate decision by Ministers to grow our economy through investing in people and their skills.'

The Minister said:

"Yesterday in the Budget we showed our commitment to maintain the competitive edge of Scotland's world renowned universities, to continuing the development of excellence in teaching and research and to spreading the benefits of lifelong learning.

"Spending on Higher Education will increase by 23 per cent in real terms from 2004-05. This was a clear and deliberate decision by Ministers to grow our economy through investing in people and their skills.

"This settlement also provides a significant boost to Scotland's world class science base - a crucial factor in economic growth and improving our quality of life.

"I want the sector to be able to compete with the best in the world - to increase the flow of their ideas moving to the marketplace, win research funding, attract and retain the best staff, and contribute to a culture of sustained investment in R&D.

"Today, the Edinburgh Science Triangle demonstrates again why this matters so much. This new 'super-campus' is already home to more than 3,300 researchers and has the potential to create 15,000 more high value jobs and contribute around £750 million to the Scottish economy.

"I believe the support we are giving to science creates an environment in which this initiative - and others like it - can succeed. In doing so, they help to build the knowledge economy and the global presence which Scotland needs."

The seven science parks are:

Alba Campus, Livingston - focussed on micro and opto electronics

BioCampus, Midlothian - biomanufacturing campus

Centre for Biomedical Research, Edinburgh - biomedical R&D centre co-located with the new ERI and Edinburgh University Medical School

Edinburgh Technopole, Midlothian - general science park

Heriot-Watt Research Park, Edinburgh - general research park

Pentlands Science Park, Midlothian - animal health and welfare

Roslin BioCentre, Midlothian - animal health science

Scottish Development International (SDI), the joint international arm of the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise, will play a central role in promoting the Edinburgh Science Triangle through its global network of offices and contacts.

Funding to market and support the EST has come from Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian (SEEL), the European Regional Development Fund, West Lothian, Midlothian and the City of Edinburgh councils, and the science parks themselves.