The University of Glasgow’s £1bn campus redevelopment is its single biggest estates project in more than 150 years. But its ambitions stretch beyond its borders: its vision is to use the revitalised campus to connect its world class research with industry, the public sector, City Council, and local community to drive innovation in the West End and wider city – transforming some of its most economically-deprived neighbouring communities.

At the heart of this vision is the creation of the Glasgow University Innovation District: encompassing the city’s bustling West End and Waterfront region, taking in the University campus in the north, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to the West, and the Creative Clyde Media Cluster in the South. It’s also an area rich with culture, offering the Kelvingrove, Riverside and Science museums, the all-new Kelvin Hall cultural hub, and the Scottish Events Campus, one of Europe’s leading conference venues.

“The Innovation District is an outstanding opportunity for the city. It’s the University of Glasgow at its very best: world-class researchers and students working in partnership with industry to create world-changing breakthroughs and innovations. I am confident that the development of the District will help drive the Glasgow region’s continuing growth and prosperity.” Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow

The District will connect and leverage local strengths to transform the area into a vibrant focus of entrepreneurial activity where the best of industry and academia will live, work and thrive alongside one another, generating new avenues of exploration, partnerships and educational and employment opportunities in the surrounding neighbourhoods – which include some of the city’s most economically undeveloped areas.

As the anchor institution for the District, the University will lead development of a new Interdisciplinary Innovation Zone on its redeveloped campus. It is working to attract and partner with industry to deliver innovation in four priority areas: Precision Medicine and Chronic Disease, the Nano and Quantum World, Creative and Cultural Economies, and Smart City Technologies. The new Zone will complement the University’s existing Clinical Innovation at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, another key anchor of the District.

Both Zones will provide the space and facilities needed to accelerate innovation in the area, offering space for startups, spin-outs, and corporate partners to work alongside their academic counterparts, while also providing the tools and training that the University’s students need to succeed in tomorrow’s digital economy.

What’s more, the new Interdisciplinary Innovation Zone will sit alongside the University’s forthcoming Research Hub (pictured) – a cutting-edge, internationally leading facility that will bring the University’s best researchers together in large interdisciplinary teams in order to tackle some of global society’s most pressing challenges.


This article first appeared in the 2018 State of the Relationship report, commissioned by Research England and compiled and published by NCUB.