Businesses need to be aware of Equality issues

Smaller firms with fewer than 500 employees are now likely to be exempt from rules in the new Equality Bill as Harriet Harman tries to ensure the legislation is passed before the general election next year.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Department of Economic Studies and International Business is launching a new series of short courses for businesses eager to understand the language of economics to help them promote gender equality.

The course, which will be available from March 2010, helps policy makers to develop more robust and informed policy regarding their obligations towards the Scottish Government’s Gender Equality Duty and the forthcoming Equality Bill. It supports community activists by sharing experiences and by developing the tools and knowledge to hold decision-makers to account. It will allow the private sector to better understand legislation. gender-symbols

Businesses can also ask for bespoke course content and modules to suit their business needs. Oxfam was among the first organisations to use material from the Economics for Equality course, running pilots this year attended by 25 policy makers and community activists.

The new courses will be led by Ailsa McKay, Professor in Gender and Economics, who has worked extensively in the field of gender budget analysis.

To find out more about how Economics for Equality could work for your business, contact at the Applied Knowledge Exchange, or

Renewable energy high on the agenda at GCU

Renewable and clean energy enjoys a ‘significant comparative advantage’ in Scotland according to a Scottish Government report published this week.

The study highlights Scotland’s location, natural resources, research and development and manufacturing bases as key advantages for developing Scotland’s clean energy resource.

The report shows one additional gigawatt of onshore or offshore wind capacity could reduce Scotland’s current total carbon emissions by around 3%. Electricity grid infrastructure will be a fundamental influence on Scotland’s ability to accommodate growth in renewables.

Energy Minister Jim Mather said Scotland’s energy advantage lies in securing low carbon electricity from renewables and clean fossil fuels.

The Scottish Government has recruited the help of Scottish Water, John Lewis, BT and Scottish Power for a new 2020 Delivery Group to ensure that all sectors of Scotland’s economy and civic society contribute fully to achieving the Climate Change Delivery Plan which includes the target of a 42% reduction in emissions over the next decade.

Dr Alastair Sutherland of the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University says: ‘Here at GCU’s School of Life Sciences, we are looking at optimising microbial consortia in anaerobic digestion so that we can more efficiently generate biofuels including methane gas at micro- and macro-generation levels.

‘Inputs can be waste material or substrate such as seaweed or microalgae grown noncompetitively with food crops. We are particularly investigating anaerobic digestion of seaweed for use by small island communities and perhaps councils who need to remove cast seaweed from leisure beaches.
‘However, anaerobic digestion of grass and other horticultural waste and waste paper are being investigated. The benefits are developments in renewable biofuels, reduction in landfill waste and the release of associated methane (a greenhouse gas) from landfill.’

The School of Life Sciences works with local, national and international partners and is fully committed to promoting the economic vitality of Scotland and the UK . To find out more contact the Applied Knowledge Exchange.

Moffat Centre brings smiles to Malawi

Professor J John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University, delivered modular teaching input in Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT) in Blantyre as part of an MSc International Tourism Enterprise being delivered by the University.

This will see eight members of MIT faculty upgrade their qualifications and allow for new teaching material and knowledge to filter into the institution. Malawi Nov 2009-19

This is part of a long term commitment to upgrade and develop MIT that is being undertaken by the Moffat Centre with the financial support of the Scottish Government. Grant assistance for two projects was awarded to the Moffat Centre which has incorporated the construction and development of information communications technology teaching facilities, library building and related learning resources, the development of food service and food production facilities and the development of short course training programmes for the Malawian tourism industry.

The Applied Knowledge Exchange can also facilitate short course training or bespoke educational packages for your business.

Caledonian Environment Centre scoops trio of carbon projects

With Climate Change and carbon management the hot topics of the day, the Caledonian Environment Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University has developed a bespoke carbon footprint tool to support companies in understanding their carbon impact.

The Centre, part of the School of the Built and Natural Environment, won funding from the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to work on carbon management within Scotland’s food and drink sector.

The Centre is assisting food and drink related SMEs to improve their business competitiveness and environmental performance by managing their carbon emissions. The Caledonian Environment Centre has established an environmental capability assessment tool which provides bespoke carbon reduction plans for companies. 

The programme has so far engaged about 1,000 companies and surveyed over 340 for climate change and carbon management. 

The Centre is alo working on “Going Carbon Neutral Stirling” to develop a software application that formulates carbon reduction plans for communities.

Caledonian Evironment Centre is also working with the Scottish Prison Service, which is undertaking the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme, to establish a reduction strategy of between 15 and 25% of their current baseline.  The programme plan seeks to make cost savings for the service, supporting both the environmental impact of carbon, waste and transport by the organization and promoting well-being in inmates.

Vital renewable energy research at Glasgow Caledonian Uni

earthScotland’s Climate Change minister Stewart Stevenson is pushing the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Mission agenda at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen next week.

The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Act, passed earlier this year, has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 per cent by 2050.

At the weekend, Parliamentarians joined thousands of protestors as they took to the streets of Glasgow as part of Scotland’s biggest ever climate change demonstration. The Wave was organised by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition.

At Glasgow Caledonian University, vital renewable energy work is also high on the agenda.

Research is central to the School of the Built and Natural Environment’s activities, and it attained the top rating in Scotland in the category  “Architecture and the Built Environment” of The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) for 2008.

The School of the Built and Natural Environment has a research partnership with Grameen Shakti , a not-for-profit company established to promote, develop and popularize renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas of Bangladesh. The School of the Built and Natural Environment is collaborating with Grameen Shakti on the largest micro-generation renewable energy program in the world. A delegation of Grameen Shakti will also attend the Copenhagen Summit.   

Dr M. Asif, Lecturer in Sustainable and Renewable Energy Technologies at Glasgow Caledonian University, says: “In the backdrop of the environmental challenges Bangladesh faces , the work we are jointly undertaking is important and would be of interest to other developing and developed countries as well.”

Another important renewable energy initiative is being headed by Dr Alastair Sutherland, Dr Alan Williams and Susan Withers, of the Division of Biological/Biomedical Sciences. They have obtained £147,000 of funding from iTi Energy to study the anaerobic digestion of seaweed to produce methane. This is part of a new initiative to develop advanced biofuels for renewable energy.

Your business can benefit from the expertise available at Glasgow Caledonian University. Whether you are an SME, charity, multinational or public sector organisation, the Applied Knowledge Exchange can provide professional consultancy, specialist research facilities, and bespoke work-based education.

Jerry Morris: The man who invented exercise

cardiac rehabilitationJerry Morris, a Glasgow-educated epidemiologist who recently died aged 99, has been credited as “the man who invented exercise”.

His research was vital in showing the links between exercise and health. In 1948, he helped found the Medical Research Council’s social medicine unit. His work focused on coronary heart disease and physical activity and infant mortality. Later, in the 1950s, Jerry’s book Uses of Epidemiology was used as a blueprint for public health activities and influenced the reform of health and social services under the Labour governments.

Here at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Health and Social Care, Dr Morag Thow is doing vital work in the investigation of cardiac rehabilitation.

Scotland has one of the highest levels of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in the UK and the world. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is the key method of providing secondary prevention and
improving prognosis and quality of live for those who survive a cardiac event. In 1985 the first comprehensive exercise-based programme in Scotland was established in Glasgow. Glasgow Caledonian University  established the first Masters cardiac rehabilitation education programme for clinical specialists in 1998. Learn more about our work here.

The School of Health and Social Care at Glasgow Caledonian University is committed to developing professionally relevant training, which is responsive to local, national and international developments within healthcare provision. HealthQWest, an innovative £4.9million research consortium based at higher education institutions and the health services across the west of Scotland, was launched at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Applied Knowledge Exchange can help your business with professional healthcare training, research and problem solving. Contact Dr Andy McNair to find out more.

BBC 2’s Landward calls on Moffat Centre experts

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University, has been interviewed by BBC Scotland presenter Dougie Vipond for rural issues programme Landward.

The interview will be included in Landward on BBC Two Scotland at 7pm on the 11th December 2009.

Professor Lennon was asked to provide his views due to the Moffat Centre’s expertise on tourism as an economic driver for Scotland.

In this episode of Landward, former Deacon Blue drummer-turned-TV presenter Dougie Vipond travels to Loch Rannoch to hear about plans for the multi-millionaires’ playground on the Dall Estate.


Dougie also speaks to opponents of the development who fear it will destroy the natural beauty of the area. The project has caused great debate in Scotland and groups including The Woodland Trust and the RSPB have objected to the development.

The Moffat Centre has carried out travel and tourism projects internationally and works with a variety of stakeholders, from public to private sector, and from multinationals to SMEs. The Centre can help clients with training, marketing, feasibility studies, strategy and business development.

The Moffat Centre is just one of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Centres of Expertise which can help unlock the potential for your business via the Applied Knowledge Exchange.

SMEs vital to Scottish economy

SMEs play a vital role in driving the Scottish economy and “yet they do not always received the recognition they deserve for their extraordinary achievements”.

These were the views emphasised by Alasdair Northrop, Editor of Scottish Business Insider, at the SME 300 Awards 2009 event in Glasgow.

According to Scottish Government research, SMEs account for 99.2% of enterprises here and they employ around 52.8% of the population.

Overall the SME 300 companies saw a 0.3% fall in profits reflecting the beginning of the recession. However, that compared to a 2.2% fall in Insider’s Top 500 companies listing, which seems to indicate that SMEs are more resilient in this climate.

Insider, in association with accountancy firm Scott-Moncrieff, set up the awards three years ago to mark the achievements of SMEs in a number of areas including leadership, innovation and focus.

Cormac Bryce, PhD Researcher in the Division of Accounting, Finance & Risk at  the Caledonian Business School, conducted in-depth research for the SME 300 Awards 2009.

Cormac’s research was then put to the panel of judges led by Gio Benedetti. The other judges were Vivien Kyles, Chief Executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse; Audrey Corfield, Head of Office for Glasgow at Marsh; founder of Braveheart Geoffrey Thomson; and Chartered Accountant Nelson Gray.

Top SMEs rewarded at Insider SME 300 event

Emergency veterinary care firm Vets Now scooped the SME 300 Company of the Year award at the Insider & Scott-Moncrieff SME 300 Awards 2009.

sme 300 image resizedEight awards were presented at a glittering ceremony at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow, attended by 300 key players in the Scottish SME marketplace. The awards recognise the achievement of Scotland’s best performing companies with a turnover of up to £20 million.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Applied Knowledge Exchange supported the event, working closely with accountancy firm Scott-Moncrieff to complete the research for each award nomination.

Canongate Books and Prosource IT provided Vets Now with competition for the top spot, taking two awards each. Canongate Books picked up prizes for Fastest Growing SME 300 Company and Most Focused Company. Prosource IT won Best Employer and Best Medium Company.

The event was hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay and speaker Charan Gill, the mastermind behind the Harlequin Restaurant Group.

The Applied Knowledge Exchange’s support of the SME 300 Awards comes hot on the heels of its sponsorship of ‘Scotland’s Business Oscars’ – the Insider Elite Awards 2009 in October. Principal of Glasgow Caledonian University, Professor Pamela Gillies, was a finalist in the prestigious Public Service Leader of the Year category.

Whether you are an SME, charity, multinational or public sector organisation, the Applied Knowledge Exchange can provide professional consultancy services, specialist research facilities, bespoke work-based learning opportunities, tailored to your business needs.

For further information contact Fiona Stewart-Knight.