Partners involved in a £1.2 million project to create six new innovation centres at colleges across Glasgow and the west of Scotland have met for the first time to progress the initiative. 

The Innovate UK funded partnership brings together colleges across the west of Scotland – including City of Glasgow, Glasgow Clyde, Glasgow Kelvin, New College Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and West College Scotland – to support innovation and the adoption of innovative business practices across the region. 

The event, held at City of Glasgow College, involved representatives of all the colleges as well as potential stakeholders in the public and private sector as part of the plans to support more than 200 businesses from across Glasgow, Inverclyde, North and South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, and West Dunbartonshire.

Attendees included representatives from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID), and Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre, BE-ST and NMIS, amongst others. 

The 12-month College Local Innovation Centres (CLIC) pilot project, funded by the Innovate UK Further Education Innovation Fund, will help businesses across the Glasgow City Region gain access to comprehensive support and guidance on embedding and embracing innovation within their organisations.  

READ MORE: Scottish companies set for college innovation boost

The hubs will support businesses in several sectors including health, sustainability, advanced manufacturing, creative and digital, with support ranging from advisory services to hands-on assistance in adopting cutting-edge technologies, processes, and business models.  

Principal of South Lanarkshire College, Stella McManus, of the CLIC project, said: “We’re looking for businesses who have a need to develop workforce skills to leverage technology such as automation, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and improve employee experiences within the sectors represented. 

“Central to the success of this programme will be effective engagement with stakeholders. The innovation centres will be fully integrated into the regional innovation ecosystem and will work with partners and stakeholders to ensure a coordinated approach to innovation support delivery. Our first meeting is a critical first step to ensuring that happens and listening to your views on how CLIC can align with regional priorities and existing support.” 

The award of funding is part of a UK-wide push by Innovate UK to promote innovation that will see £7.3 million invested in nine projects across 33 colleges. Other regions involved across the UK include Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. 
The Innovation Centres, hosted within each college, will begin supporting businesses later this year.