Abertay University and other small institutions are well-positioned to stimulate the growth of key priority economies, according to a new report from Guild HE.
The Building the Jigsaw Report by Guild HE - who represent 58 universities and colleges in the UK - shows that small universities are innovative, agile industry experts supporting economic development within their communities and specific sectors in the economy such as the creative industries, health and agriculture.
The new Abertay cyberQuarter, an £18m cybersecurity research, development and innovation centre housed within the University, is featured in the report and is credited with attracting cyber businesses to Dundee. The new centre provides regional SMEs with the space and resources to grow whilst allowing larger companies to establish a presence in the city, supporting economic development.
Professor Liz Bacon, Principal of Abertay, said:
The cyberQuarter is the new home for Scotland's cybersecurity community, supporting businesses to experiment, develop and thrive. This first-class hub will, crucially, help Scotland to retain the huge amount of graduate talent that comes out of Abertay and our partner institutions every year, and will also act as a secure, shared space where new solutions to global cyber challenges can be addressed for the common good.
Abertay cyberQuarter is already working with a host of partners and organisations like the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as public bodies such as the NHS National Services Scotland who will soon locate their state-of-the art Security Operations facility on site with the creation of 30 new jobs.
In addition to creating job growth and new innovations, impact will be seen in the increase in resilient businesses that survive (or avoid) cyber attacks. With four in ten businesses (39%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reporting having cyber security breaches or attacks in the 12 months to March 2021, the importance of cyber security development to all industries cannot be overstated.
Anthony McClaran, GuildHE Chair and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University Twickenham said:
Many small and specialist universities are innovative, agile industry experts that carry out high impact, practical research and knowledge exchange. This important report brings new evidence to the sector and a new approach to capturing the local, national and international economic impact of their work.