Creating a science region

Our focus

Recognising the growing regional cluster of science based businesses, teaching and research centres, allied to long term career opportunitites in sectors such as energy and life sciences, we want to help build a science region.

HIE will create and strengthen knowledge exchange links between universities and businesses, promote opportunities for young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and invest in science based initiatives which align with the Scottish Government's Economic Strategy.

Working with local authorities, the Universitiy of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and other partners, we will support the development of a regional Science Centre.

Why do the Highlands and Islands need to be a science region?

In recent years Scotland has been moving towards a knowledge based economy where a strong supply of skilled graduates is needed to sustain and grow the economy. The movement away from traditional, seasonal labour based work has meant that the Highlands and Islands have an increasing reliance on skilled workers.

What can the creation of a science region achieve?

  • Retention of school leavers and attraction of new people to the region will ensure that employers have access to a wide range of skilled graduates and young people.
  • A long term capability to create and sustain science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) related business in the region.
  • An increased fundamental understanding of science so that the whole population can understand and engage with the scientific community.

How can we become a science region?

In order to meet these objectives, initiatives have been undertaken that aim to improve the Highlands and Islands STEM skills shortfalls, these include:

  • The initial planning and scoping of a “Science Academy” that will provide employers with new and innovative ways of linking with students for activities and career opportunities.
  • The STEM ambassador scheme that places individuals with significant experience in a STEM industry in schools to inspire children at an early age.
  • Exploring knowledge exchange schemes, such as 'Making the Most of Masters' that brings the skills of postgraduate students into a local business.

The Highlands and Islands aims to be a region that provides exceptional education that can supply its economic growth sectors with STEM skills.  It aims to be a region that school leavers actively choose to remain in and attracts new talent because it can provide top-quality education combined with excellent job opportunities for STEM graduates. The retention of skills in the region will fuel further growth and innovation allowing the region to lead the nation in science innovation and knowledge.


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