Universities Scotland video highlights business ambitions brought to reality

In this video produced by Universities Scotland, university graduates as well as prominent voices from business and society such as Jim McColl, Peter Lederer and Heather Reid talk about how they have already worked with universities to achieve their diverse ambitions whether it is improving the competitiveness of their business or inspiring the next generation of school children to become excited about science.

Take a look at: http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/index.php?page=our-contribution


Scottish Enterprise highlights business collaboration potential

In tough times, businesses and public sector organisations should take a more collaborative approach to working – that was the theme running through the Scottish Enterprise networking event this week in Glasgow.

Keynote speaker Raymond O’Hare, Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, told delegates people can be sceptical when they hear the word ‘collaboration’ but that it was a ‘practical necessity’ for business survival.

He outlined 5 types of collaboration: Corporate Business Partner Programmes; Small Organisations Learning from Large; Informal Collaboration Agreements; Formal Collaboration Agreements; and Influencer Collaboration.

Other speakers included Virginia Sumsion, marketing manager at Loch Fyne Oysters, who spoke about her Argyll food producers co-operative which sells food and drink products at events under the Food from Argyll banner.

For more information on collaborating with Glasgow Caledonian University, go to www.gcu.ac.uk/business


GCU launches diabetic foot disease programme in India

AlexSalmond2-177x177Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been granted £20,000 from the Scottish Government’s South Asia Development Award to deliver a programme in the management of diabetic foot disease in India that could prevent diabetes related limb amputations.

GCU’s Strategic Business Development team – the Applied Knowledge Exchange  – facilitated a bid with experts from the School of Health to access grant funding for the development of a training programme for physicians providing diabetic care in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

Diabetic foot disease accounts for more than 50% of non traumatic limb amputations.  Early detection of the disease may prevent amputation and the programme will provide clinicians with the necessary skills to identify diabetic foot disease at an early stage. The World Health Organisation (WHO) now classes diabetes in India as a pandemic, affecting approximately 50 million people.

GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies, is in India today (October 12) to sign an agreement with Dr. Sneh Bhargava, Medical Director of the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research in New Delhi for delivery of the project, witnessed by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, and Kapil Sabal, who is India’s Minister for Human Resource Development.

Similar partnerships have been forged with the MV Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research in Chennai, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai and Max Health Care, also in Delhi, to deliver the programme in other parts of the country.

The First Minister said, “I am delighted to join the Minister of Human Resource Development to welcome this important new partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University and Sitaram Bhartia, one of four partners involved in the programme. The Scottish Government is proud to support this project to share Scottish expertise to make a real difference to the quality of the lives of thousands of people in India.” 

Glasgow Caledonian University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Pamela Gillies, said, “Our partners in India are very important to us and we are very privileged indeed to be working with our esteemed Indian colleagues on this groundbreaking initiative to help prevent unnecessary suffering through diabetes related limb amputations. The support of the Scottish Government and Scottish Development International will allow us to share our podiatric expertise with doctors around India, building capacity in a sustainable way that will transform lives.”

For more information, contact the Applied Knowledge Exchange.

Scottish Government launches ‘Zero Waste’ food recycling scheme

A new green scheme that recycles food waste has been launched.

The Commercial Food Waste Collection Service, run by Keenan Recycling, creates BSI accredited compost from items such as leftover food, coffee grounds, cups and paper towels collected from businesses and restaurants in the North East.cec

First Minister Alex Salmond officially lanched the scheme. The Scottish Government published its Zero Waste Plan last month. It sets out key actions and new targets to tackle the near 20 million tonnes of waste produced in Scotland every year.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Caledonian Environment Centre is a unique team of professionals with expertise in waste resource management, carbon management, environmental sustainability and bioenergy.

One of the most distinguished and recognised environmental organisations in Scotland, Caledonian Environment
Centre has strong links with Scottish Government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, local authorities,
WRAP, Zero Waste Scotland, and Scotland’s economic development agencies.

Find out how the Caledonian Environment Centre could help your business along the path to a ‘Zero Waste Scotland’ by calling the Applied Knowledge Exchange on 0141 331 3189.

70% waste target unveiled by Scottish Government

Scotland’s first Zero Waste Plan has been published by the Scottish Government, setting out key actions, including new targets, to tackle the near 20 milion tonnes of waste produced by Scotland every year

It aims to drive change and inspire households, businesses, community groups, local authorities and the wider public sector to change the way they view and deal with waste.

The plan will introduce landfill bans for specific waste types, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and capturing their value; separate collections of specific waste types, including food (to avoid contaminating other materials), to increase reuse and recycling opportunities and contributing to the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets; and new targets that will apply to all waste: 70 per cent target recycled, and maximum five per cent sent to landfill, both by 2025.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Caledonian Environment Centre works closely with private sector organisations and Scotlands’ councils to reduce waste. Find out more about our work at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/business/clientscasestudies/casestudies/

Businesses encouraged to take on apprentices

Scottish businesses are being offered a new grant of £1,000 by the Scottish Government to take on an apprentice. The £4 million scheme will run until March 26 and is available for up to 4000 employers.

The scheme is part of ScotAction, a scheme to help individuals and businesses through the recession and provide skills assistance for training for work, training in work and training from work to work to help Scottish people and businesses survive the downturn and thrive when the economy starts to recover.

Glasgow Caledonian University is also offering businesses bespoke study programmes and part-time education to allow them to boost their employees’ skills set. To find out more, contact the Applied Knowledge Exchange on 0141 331 3189.

Scottish Government consults on Equality Bill for public sector

The  Scottish Government has published a report following a consultation with the public sector on its views on whether the UK Equality Bill should introduce new socio-economic duties to Scottish public bodies.

The consultation asked whether the provision in the Bill to place a duty on certain public bodies to have due regard to socio-economic inequalities in strategic decision making (which, as the Bill stands, applies to England and Wales only) should be extended to Scottish public bodies.

69 written responses were received by the close of the consultation. Overall, there was a majority of respondents in favour of the application of the socio-economic duty to public authorities in Scotland.

A common theme was the existence of poverty and socio-economic inequality and other forms of inequality in Scotland, the impact of this and the need to address such issues. Others suggested a duty would ensure consistency and continuity of work to address socio-economic inequality and have a positive impact upon resources for such work and increase scrutiny of strategic decisions.

However, there were some perceived problems with the application of a socio-economic duty to public authorities in Scotland. Amongst these, a common theme was the existence of current arrangements and frameworks. There are also fears it would increase bureaucracy and make public authorities vulnerable to legal challenge and judicial review.

What is your view? Join the debate here.

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.

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.