Conference marks QMU's commitment to responsible innovation and enterprise

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University has announced a series of events aimed at exploring new approaches to responsible innovation and uncovering opportunities for enterprise.

With a panel of speakers including representatives from Nesta, the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Business Gateway and Livingston-based workwear company, Guthrie Group Ltd, the programme kicked off on Tuesday 28th March with a conference at the University’s Craighall campus, attended by students, staff and invited guests.

Event organiser, Carol Brennan, Acting Dean, School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management at QMU, said: “The University has a long history of successful innovation across all our subject areas, our research programmes, our teaching and learning methods, right through to how we run as an organisation.

“We saw an opportunity to pull together as an institution to build on this, and to draw on our student talent and working relationships with companies, policymakers and the public. The programme will bring people and expertise together at events throughout the year and allow these groups to spark off each other. There are always new ways of doing things, the secret is to never stop being curious.”

Speaking at the event, Nesta’s Head of Policy in Scotland Peter McColl presented research findings and led a discussion on the role of digital technology in helping civic action by mobilising large communities, sharing resources and spreading power. Nesta has been funded by the European Commission to lead a research project into digital social innovation.

Conference attendees also heard from Cynthia Guthrie, a member of the University Court and Joint Managing Director of Guthrie Group Ltd, who explored the theme of entrepreneurial spirit and its role in corporate organisations.

Following presentations from Robbie Broomfield of Business Gateway and Tom McGuire of Scottish Institute for Enterprise on their roles in nurturing student talent, fostering innovation and supporting new businesses the conference closed with a presentation from QMU’s own business development manager Miriam Smith. She examined the role of Scotland’s higher education institutions in driving enterprise, showcasing the work that QMU is undertaking to support this agenda, with a particular emphasis on supporting graduate start-ups.

Michael Grant talked about his experience of starting a film business at the University with support from Business Gateway. Participants then shared ideas for future developments in innovation and enterprise in the curriculum, research and in the application of this learning for the benefit of local, national and international organisations and communities.

The next event in the series is an exhibition at QMU showcasing Inspiring Entrepreneurs in June and July. For information on future events, please contact Carol Brennan for details.

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: T: 0131 474 0000.

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