Dundee’s global reputation goes beyond the three Js...
Dundee is undergoing a renaissance; a new cityscape, a regenerated waterfront, and the V&A.
However, ask people what Dundee is famous for, and chances are you will still get the three Js – Jute, Jam and Journalism.
Chances are that nobody answering the question will say ‘science’. And that is a shame, because Dundee’s reputation in sciences is global – world beating, in fact.
It’s 20 years since I last worked in a laboratory and things have come a long way since then.
So it has been a pleasure to spend the last few days in the universities of Dundee, learning more about life sciences in the city. It is heartening to hear of the groundbreaking research, innovation and ventures all of which have their genesis in Dundee. UK life sciences generate £4.2 billion in turnover, about £2bn gross value added to the Scottish economy every year.
For the UK Government, life sciences are integral to our industrial strategy. We asked Sir John Bell, professor at Oxford University, to develop a strategy to examine the challenges facing the sector, and set out a pathway for growth. The ambition is for the UK to become a global hub of clinical research and medical innovation. That’s also why I am in the city, to hear from scientists like Professor Sue Black of Dundee University’s Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, on the issues facing the sector.
There are also opportunities ahead for the City. The UK Government has just signed a UK City Deal for Edinburgh, bringing £300m of new money to the city, with a particular focus on the university sector. It follows a half a billion funding package for Glasgow, £125m for Aberdeen and more than £50m for Inverness. Dundee and the Tay Valley is next.