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Glasgow School of Art to open in Forres

07 October 2010

One of Europe's most renowned international art schools is to launch a new satellite centre in the North of Scotland, adding to the growing number of higher education institutions working in the region.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), together with ERDF funding, will assist Glasgow School of Art (GSA) to establish The Centre for Design Innovation at the Enterprise Park, Forres with a support package up to £1.27m over the next three years.

GSA is one of Britain's foremost institutions for creative research, education and practice. It is a specialist and highly focused international community of artists, designers and architects, undertaking research at the highest levels.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said HIE was delighted to be helping the school set up in the North of Scotland.

"The work that GSA plans to do from its new base in Moray will focus on tackling challenges faced by businesses and communities, enabling them to grasp opportunities and generate economic growth. This includes exploring ways in which current and future services might be provided into local communities, for example healthcare, education and banking."

Professor Irene McAra-Mcwilliam, Head of the School of Design at The Glasgow School of Art, and the Director of the new Centre, said: "We have worked together to find ways in which design thinking can be applied to benefit businesses and communities in the Highlands and Islands area, while creating new knowledge for the Art School and real world 'live' projects for our students. This Centre will be an example of 21st century innovation. We will also carry out research with international partners and create examples of best practice in the Highlands and Islands area."

The Centre for Design Innovation will work with local, national and international partners around three key themes. Leading researchers and students will look at assisting small enterprises across the region to collaborate, helping them to exploit new opportunities and markets together. This will also be piloted across sectors, such as food and drink and tourism. Finally, the Centre will explore how services can be delivered more effectively into rural communities.

In addition to employing around 12 researchers based in Forres, the Centre will offer student placements and internships with Highlands and Islands businesses, aiming to create new research and commercialisation opportunities.

In its first three years, the Centre aims to undertake around six applied research projects with health and wellbeing being a priority research area. It will also support 100 businesses to engage in design led innovation with several projects already at the planning stage.

GSA hosted workshops at the Telehealthcare Summit and P4 Digital healthcare Conference, both held this year in Inverness. Discussions are underway regarding collaborative projects with partners in the area particularly around the future provision of health services in the region.

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Colin T Lipscomb 12/01/2011

Haven't H & I Enterprise realised that £1.27M given to the local community to make improvements to the health services would be far more likely to have effect, especially if the £3M they wasted on Distance Lab had been added to it. Tarras, the Enterprise Park, has been a white elephant from its conception, failing to generate the jobs it promised or the future it claimed, all done at the expense of taxpayers with public money. The sooner this quango is wound up we will all be better off, financially.

Tommy Scott 12/01/2011

It is gratifying to see initiatives of such quality being taken in Moray. Having worked there for 15 years before leaving for a less marginalised area, I recognise the value in GSA's enterprise. Moray has no public art gallery and little museum provision. The absence of such says much about the the priorities of successive councils and philanthropists(?) in the area. Anything GSA could do to address the shortfall in creative support that exists there would be great news for many, including the art & design departments in secondary schools, who struggle to excite the youngsters in such a public art desert.

Colin Lipscomb 12/01/2011

Mr Scott seems well uninformed about Moray since he left the area. The west end of Moray has a museum, the Falconer Museum, in Forres and the Moray Art Centre in Findhorn, both of which are there to stimulate youngsters desire in art. If by referring to the public art desert he means putting expensive art pieces into hospital entrances or council chambers perhaps he would like to spend his money, rather than mine and yours, on such initiatives

Janet Anderson 13/01/2011

Having read the above three times I need a bit of help. I realise that I may be a bit dim but what the !!!!!!! are they actually planning to do with all this money? Obviously my 10 O levels, 5 A levels, 3HNC's, HND, DipHE and BA didn't prepare me to understand this rariefied use of language. Maybe I should go back to school!

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