The RSE Economy and Enterprise Committee (formerly the Business Innovation Forum) was convened in 2010 with the aim of identifying and stimulating processes to increase collaboration between business and academia in Scotland. The membership comprises a broad range of experience from Scotland’s business and academic communities. The committee remit was revised and updated in 2019 and is included below.
The RSE Economy and Enterprise Committee will focus on the means of enhancing the economy (defined to include wider economic and social wellbeing) through consideration of issues such as skills, fair work, business development, enterprise, and innovation. It will:
- Inform and respond to key policy developments and initiatives relating to the economy (including fiscal policy) through, for example, consultation responses, policy advice and facilitating discussion and debate.
- Be forward-thinking and proactive in identifying and addressing longer-term issues and policy challenges relating to the economy / economic wellbeing.
- Advise Council on the future direction and development of the RSE’s Enterprise Fellowships programme and any future programmes in this area.
- Advise the RSE staff and Council on effective engagement with the business community and be proactive with regard to that engagement.
- Be guided by the Programme Committee on resources, priorities, strategic fit and links with other work.
- Seek to ensure that its advice and other activity brings together expertise from both academia and business practice.
- Work collaboratively with other relevant groups and organisations where there are benefits in doing so.
- Meeting frequency: The committee shall meet at least four times per year.
- The Convener is responsible for signing off submissions and external engagement by the Committee. RSE General Secretary is responsible for signing off Economy and Enterprise Committee responses on behalf of the Society.
- Activities outwith meetings: Ad hoc roundtables and seminars.
- Committee quorum: Four members, including Convener or Member of Council.
- Delegated budgetary responsibility: To remain within the budget as set by Council. If projects or initiatives arise which would go beyond this, a case must be presented to Council or the appropriate Office Bearer with delegated powers of approval.
- Reports to: RSE Council, RSE Scotland Foundation Trustees.
Since being established in 1997, the RSE Enterprise Fellowship scheme has supported more than 200 researchers to develop and launch new businesses, with companies formed across a wide range of fields – from tidal energy generation and safety systems for the oil and gas industry, to insect repellents and communication solutions for sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Enterprise Fellowship Awards are specifically designed to support academic researchers in becoming outstanding entrepreneurs. Enterprise Fellows get access to the most up-to-date training in entrepreneurial skills, delivered to the highest standard of international excellence by individuals who have a proven track record of commercial success. Awardees are further supported to establish and grow their businesses via one year’s salary and business development funding to cover costs associated with attending conferences and trade shows.
An evaluation and economic impact assessment was carried out by economic consultancy BiGGAR Economics in 2019, it found that the programme: