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Govan could become ‘Scotland’s silicon valley’ with new university campus

The Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus in Glasgow is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the historic shipbuilding area.

An artist’s impression of the new Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus (University of Glasgow/PA)
An artist’s impression of the new Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus (University of Glasgow/PA)

Plans for a new multi-million-pound waterfront campus that could create “Scotland’s Silicon Valley on the Clyde” have been revealed by a university.

The University of Glasgow hopes the new campus in Govan can make an area renowned for shipbuilding and industry in the last century synonymous with innovation in the 21st century.

The Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus (CWIC) will act as a centre of excellence for a range of new technologies, where academics can work alongside partners in industry.

The new campus will comprise an enhanced James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), which will focus on industries like nanofabrication for quantum technology and photonics, and a precision medicine living laboratory that will flow into the existing clinical innovation zone at the nearby Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

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The new campus would be located in Govan (University of Glasgow/PA)

So far £28 million has been committed from the university and £27.5 million from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

The university is bidding for a further £63 million in funding.

It said the proposed campus on Linthouse Road would bring hundreds of jobs to the area.

University of Glasgow principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: “The University of Glasgow’s plans for investment in Govan are an incredibly exciting new chapter for the university and the city – and can be as transformational for Govan and the Clyde waterfront as our move to the west end from the city centre was in 1870.

“As Glasgow’s largest university, we are determined to play a full and active part in the public life of our city and our new campus on the south bank of the Clyde will see even more of Glasgow’s communities benefit from our activity, while creating a genuine cluster of excellence in several of the leading industries of the coming decades.”

He added: “Shipbuilding and heavy industry in Govan and on the Clyde waterfront were the pillars of Glasgow’s industrial excellence in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“I have no doubt that the innovation agenda and industries like quantum technology, nanofabrication and precision medicine can be to the 21st century Glasgow economy what shipbuilding was in the past.

“As a city, we can’t afford to look backwards to past glories – we have to reimagine Glasgow’s entrepreneurial legacy for the 21st Century.

“And the establishment of the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus could create Scotland’s Silicon Valley on the Clyde and be a key step in ensuring our city retakes its place at the forefront of international innovation and industrial excellence.”

This is a project of true local, national and international importance Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, University of Glasgow

It is also hoped the campus will involve the community in the university, with plans to establish invention rooms for use by local school pupils and young people.

These are described as shared, interactive spaces to allow for collaboration between the university, the local community and industrial partners.

Dr Sara Diegoli, strategic project manager at the College of Science and Engineering and the lead for the quantum aspect of the CWIC project, said: “Glasgow is already a world-leader in areas likes quantum technology, photonics and nanofabrication, and the Clyde Waterfront Innovation Campus will bring together a cluster of excellence from both industry and academia which will be truly unparalleled elsewhere.”

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, vice-principal and head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “This is a project of true local, national and international importance – contributing to the regeneration of Govan, cementing Scotland’s place as the world-leader in precision medicine and promising a genuine revolution in healthcare right across the world.”

PA

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