SCOTTISH Chambers of Commerce and the University of Strathclyde have agreed a “strategic alliance and collocation” - which they say is the first partnership of its kind in Europe.

The two organisations said the move would connect Strathclyde Business School’s research capacity and teaching faculty with a network of 26 regional chambers of commerce across Scotland, which have a combined membership of about 11,000 companies.

Scottish Chambers has moved its offices from Glasgow’s Merchants House on George Square to the newly-refurbished Strathclyde Business School building on the city’s Cathedral Street.

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The University of Strathclyde and Scottish Chambers said this move had been made “as part of a two-way knowledge and skills transfer partnership”.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our campus at Strathclyde is a hub for research, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. The collocation of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce with the Strathclyde Business School brings significant benefits and opportunities to both parties.

He added: “This strategic partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce provides the foundation for our Business School to work throughout Scotland, in partnership with other business educators and local chambers, to accelerate economic transformation in every region.”

Scottish Chambers president Tim Allan said: “This is a very exciting new alliance which injects academic expertise into Scotland’s most ambitious and creative business network. It is the first step in SCC’s wider ambition to shorten the distance between academia and business to our mutual benefit.”

He added: “We see this new alliance with the Business School as a model for intended future academic collaborations.”