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Brexit risk to research

Published: 13 Jan 2017 15:47

State-of-the-art Aberdeen centre opening highlights EU benefits.

The importance of EU research programmes and international collaboration has been highlighted by Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville.

It comes ahead of the official opening of the Rowett Institute’s new facilities in Aberdeen on Wednesday (18 January 2017).

The state of the art centre at the University of Aberdeen’s Foresterhill medical campus includes a purpose-built Human Nutrition Unit, funded with £12 million from the Scottish Government.

The Minister said:

“Aberdeen is already at the very cutting edge of food and health-related research, contributing to Scotland’s global reputation for research excellence and attracting some of the brightest and best researchers from across the EU and beyond.

“The Rowett Institute’s move into the University of Aberdeen will build on this success, strengthening its capacity to pioneer new research and increasing its international competitiveness and opportunities for collaboration.

“However, I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of a hard Brexit on our research sector.

“Scottish universities and research institutions remain committed to collaborating with our European partners and attracting the best international talent – but have been clear that this requires continued access to the single market and EU funding. For example, Horizon 2020 funding has streams, which have been worth over €235 million to the Scottish sector.

“The detailed proposals we published last month are designed to keep Scotland in the European single market even if the rest of the UK leaves – which is absolutely essential for Scottish jobs, investment and long-term economic wellbeing.

“This is the first, and only, detailed plan for Brexit to be published by any government in the UK, and the Prime Minister has pledged to give our proposals serious consideration.”

Background

Scotland’s Place in Europe can be accessed via: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/12/9234 

The Scottish Government has contributed £12 million towards the Rowett Institute’s new purpose-built facilities, including the Human Nutrition Unit, the most advanced facility of its kind in the UK, which will be a focus for human intervention studies exploring the effects of diet on health.

70% of the research at the Rowett Institute is funded by the Scottish Government through our Strategic Research Programme. In 2016-17, the Scottish Government is providing the Rowett with research funding of about £7.7 million.

Almost 80% of the Horizon 2020 funding awarded to Scotland up to September 2016 was secured by Scottish Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutes (€217.5 million to higher education institutions and over €18 million to research institutes)