Scottish Crucible, the award-winning research development programme for Scotland's research leaders of the future, was last week honoured by the City of Glasgow with a special civic reception at Glasgow City Chambers attended by more than 100 guests from academia, media, policy, business and industry.
The 'Cruciblists' see what an opportunity Crucible is and are seizing it
Scottish Crucible is a prestigious national programme set up and directed by Dr Ruth Neiland, Head of Research Futures, and Professor Alan Miller, Deputy Principal for Research & Knowledge Transfer, at Heriot-Watt University.
Each year it competitively selects 30 highly promising lecturers and researchers from universities, research institutes and SMEs to take part in intensive training run over three months.
The aim is to encourage participants to enhance their capacity for research and innovation through interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge transfer (KT), and thereby increase the overall impact of their research.
Scottish Crucible is generously supported by the Scottish Funding Council, NESTA, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish universities (three of whom elect to partner the programme each year). Numerous other invited guests and speakers freely contribute time to share their advice and experience with the Scottish Crucible participants, including many Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, business entrepreneurs and policy developers.
Tangible outputs from the Scottish Crucible programme already include 12 interdisciplinary research projects funded via NESTA on topics such as:
- Personal health monitoring through mobile devices
- Enabling a hydrogen economy via advanced nanomaterials
- Making space for water, biodiversity and people in Scotland's cities
A Scottish Crucible Alumni Network has also developed, linking researchers across the Scottish research base who will continue to interact, inspire and innovate collaboratively as their careers develop.
The Glasgow City Civic Reception was organised as part of the University of Strathclyde-hosted Scottish Crucible workshop on 16 and 17 June 2011. It welcomed both current Scottish Crucible participants and Scottish Crucible Alumni - 'Cruciblists' - to Glasgow as well as distinguished guests including:
- Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, President-Elect of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- Professor Paul Hagan, Director of Research & Innovation, Scottish Funding Council
- Professor Bill Ion, Operations Director, Advanced Forming Research Centre
- Seonag Mackinnon, BBC Scotland Education & Science Correspondent
- Heather Reid, OBE, Glasgow Science Centre Trustee and former BBC Scotland weather presenter
"Seizing the opportunity"
Dr Stuart Fancey, Assistant Director, Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council said of the event: "It was truly inspiring to meet some of the very bright researchers from this and previous Crucible cohorts. They are clearly building networks and creating new research questions and teams. I think the 'Cruciblists' see what an opportunity Crucible is and are seizing it."
Professor Alan Miller, Deputy Principal, Research & Knowledge Exchange at Heriot-Watt University, said: "Having taken Scottish Crucible to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, St Andrews and Stirling over the past three years, we are honoured to be welcomed with this civic reception to the City of Glasgow, which is rightfully famous around the world for its long history of producing great inventors and innovators.
"We hope that our national programme - Scottish Crucible - will likewise inspire its talented researchers to collaborate and innovate, and to develop their research to be used by partners in industry, commerce, policy and other sectors both in Scotland and on the international stage."