Scottish Research Innovation Futures: A vision for societal change and sustainable recovery 

A challenge-focused workshop series, organised by Research Innovation Scotland in collaboration with KTN. This series aims to take a closer look at key challenge areas and understand how collaborative research and innovation can contribute to overcoming them in Scotland’s mission to build back better

Workshop 1 Report


Workshop 2 Report


Workshop 3 Report


Workshop 4 Report



Workshop 1 – Health And Wellbeing:

  • Since this workshop SULSA have commissioned two articles to be published in the Scotsman Digital Contents series in the lead up to the Scotsman Life Sciences Scotland Conference in December 2021. The first article is now available to read. 
  • SULSA, with partners IBioIC and Skills Development Scotland, organised a panel discussion “Realising the digital potential with skills and training” within the conference.
  • SULSA, ScotCHEM, SUPA, SICSA, IBioIC and CENSIS run a funding call around innovation funding – Our Future Health Innovation Seed Funding. This call closed in April 2022 and two applicants were awarded £30,000 in total by SULSA, IBioIC and CENSIS.

This is what Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, had to say about the workshop in a recent article in Holyrood:

“What the delegates had to say about collaboration was informed by experiences and insights gained during the pandemic. They wanted the future to be based on transdisciplinary partnerships – beyond the interdisciplinary approaches of the past to one where disciplines combine to form a new force for discovery. And, they wanted these partnerships to include data scientists, social scientists, health economists and NHS procurement teams as well as biologists, clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry. That creative thinking chimes with the SFC review.”


Workshop One: Health and Wellbeing Theme

Title of Workshop: Our Future Health in Scotland

Lead organisers: SULSA and SINAPSE and KTN (Health)


Date: Tuesday 18th May 2021

Overview: The workshop aims to identify where the immediate and long-term challenges exist for our Health Service and how collaborative research and innovation can help overcome them. The focus for workshop 1 will be on two key areas within the Health Tech sector: 1) Management of existing long-term conditions, 2) Early detection of disease. These are areas that contain opportunities to address the clinical backlog that has been impacted by COVID-19. The Scottish Government’s inward investment plan has highlighted Health Tech as a key area, this workshop will act as a scoping exercise to gather input on the specific challenges within this area as well as on further priority areas to address for Our Future Health in Scotland.

Update: You can now watch the case study presentations from this workshop via SULSA’s website

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Case Study Brochure


Workshop Two: Economic Development and Enterprise Theme

Title of Workshop: The Future of Work in Scotland

Time and date: 15th June 2021

Overview: This workshop aims to explore how collaborative research and innovation can build on the Government’s vision of Scotland’s Digital future and Scotland’s Green Economic Recovery to create economic growth, and feed the high value skills pipeline to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities ahead.

The workshop will focus on the acceleration of digitalisation in two key areas, aligned with Government priorities: 1) ‘Manufacturing and Green Economic Recovery’ and 2) ‘Digital Infrastructure’. Running through these two key areas is a need to upscale the skills pipeline to keep pace with this acceleration and future-proof our skills mix, and the role of Research and Innovation in this will also be explored. This workshop will serve as a scoping exercise, to gather input on the specific challenges and opportunities within these key areas, as well as on further priority targets to address.

Lead organisers: SRPe, SICSA and KTN

Contributors: SULSA, SINAPSE, SUPA, CENSIS, CSIC, Interface, The Data Lab

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Workshop Three: Just Transition to a Net Zero Carbon Society Theme

Title of Workshop: Sustainable Mobility & Manufacturing Sectors

Time and date: July 2021

Overview: This workshop aims to identify where the immediate and long-term challenges exist for the Just Transition to Net Zero and how collaborative research and innovation can help overcome them. This third workshop will focus on two key areas within zero carbon; aligned with Government priorities (Scottish Government Energy Strategy; Scottish Government Hydrogen Policy Statement; Scottish Government Climate Change Plan; Transport Scotland National Transport Strategy; Just Transition Commission – A national mission for a fairer, greener Scotland). 

Lead organisers: ETP, ScotCHEM, SRPe  and KTN

Contributors: SUPA, MASTS, SAGES and SICSA



Workshop Four: Climate and Environment Theme

Title of Workshop: Transition to Net Zero Landscapes

Time and date: Tuesday 7th September 2021

Overview: This workshop will focus on prioritisation for landscape planning and economic recovery driven by the UK net zero ambition and  how collaborative research and innovation can help. This will include examining relative benefits of sustainable and innovative technologies to reduce GHC emissions (wind and wave power, waste reduction, circular economy, agricultural methods etc) while promoting a blue-green recovery. The workshop will compare spatial planning and land use policy approaches across terrestrial, transitional and marine landscapes and consider “translational benefits” and the sharing of expertise.

Lead organisers: MASTS, SAGES and KTN

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