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.

Committee Purpose

The Economy and Enterprise Committee focuses on the means of enhancing the economy through consideration of issues such as skills, fair work, business development, enterprise and innovation. This definition includes wider economic and social well-being. It will:

Inform and respond to key policy developments and initiatives relating to the economy (including fiscal policy) through, 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 well-being.

Liaise with the Education Committee and other RSE Committees in areas of mutual interest.

Advise the Executive and Council on the future direction and development of the RSE’s Enterprise Fellowships programme and any future programmes in this area.

Advise the Executive and Council on effective engagement with the business community and be proactive with regard to that engagement.

Committee Activities


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:

to annual global gross value added (GVA)
Jobs have been created
Businesses created
Find out more about, and meet some of our Enterprise Fellows


The RSE’s response to the British Business Bank (BBB) on their call for evidence around access to early-stage finance in Scotland.
The review was commissioned by the Scottish Government and focuses on the role the sector can play in the economic recovery post-Covid, specifically the output of technology start-ups and spinouts in Scotland.
In addition to addressing the 6 questions posed by the consultation, the RSE response also highlighted several key themes for Scottish Government to consider, including Scotland’s priorities at the UK level, intergovernmental relations, and the macro-economic environment.
The RSE has submitted a response to the Scottish Government regarding the proposed ‘grand challenges’ (missions), in which the Scottish National Investment Bank (the Bank) will invest.
The RSE has provided a letter response to the Muscatelli Report into the economic impact of Scottish universities.
The Chief Executive of the RSE, Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, has written to Audrey Cumberford and Dr Paul Little in response to their review into the economic impact of Scotland’s colleges.
The RSE has provided a response to a call for evidence from Sir Anton Muscatelli into his review of the role Scottish universities play in working with industry in stimulating inclusive growth.
The RSE has responded to a Call for Evidence from the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy, and Fair Work Committee on the Bill for a Scottish National Investment Bank.

Committee Membership

Dr Poonam Malik FRSE
Dr Claudia Duffy
YAS Member
Owen Kelly OBE
Professor Russel Griggs OBE
Ex-Officio Observer
Norma Austin Hart
Ex-Officio Observer
Jo Armstrong
Dr Stuart McIntyre

Contact the Economy and Enterprise Committee

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