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Kelvin Institute Evaluation: final report


The Kelvin Institute was formed in partnership with Glasgow University, Strathclyde University and Scottish Enterprise (SE) to create greater university-industry collaboration to secure greater benefit to the Scottish economy from the research and expertise of Scottish university IT departments. The evaluation aimed to assess: the economic and wider impacts of the Institute, whether its objectives have been (or are likely to be) met and the implications for the future of the Institute and SE’s role in supporting knowledge transfer and commercialisation.


The methodology included: analysis of documents provided by SE; interviews with the Institute’s staff, management team, board members, advisors, SE staff, university representatives and other stakeholders; an economic impact evaluation; examination of the wider spill over effects and lessons learnt; and an analysis of the implications of findings to inform SE, and other key stakeholders, on how best to generate future benefits.


The evaluation concluded that: the Institute has generated sufficient economic benefit to the Scottish economy in ‘value for money’ terms; recognition of the issues faced in the initial operating period led to mitigating actions to ensure that such benefits could be potentially greater over the lifetime of the project; and types of activities currently piloted by the Institute provide a platform from which to consider taking forward new initiatives in the field of commercialisation. It is estimated that current net impacts are likely to be around £8.66 million compared to the (likely) total public sector investment of £6.6 million; and it is suggested such impacts could rise to £13.31 million for the same level of investment. Since the origination of the Institute in 2001, it has supported a total of 16 projects, is engaged in supporting six live projects and has identified a number of other potential projects, which appear to have the potential to realise some form of commercialisation outcome. It was found that the Institute has not generated any significant ‘spill over effects’. NB the economic impact calculations in this report do not wholly adhere to the Scottish Enterprise Economic Impact Assessment Guidance launched in 2006, therefore please treat these figures with caution. Please use the “Contact Us” button if you need more information.


In taking forward any future initiatives of this nature, it was recommended that: initial consideration should be given not only to the nature of the market failure identified (ie the ‘failure’ to link industry to academia) but also the best means to respond to such failure in terms of addressing market needs; there should be sufficient engagement, across industry sectors and university departments; and partnerships should be actively sought in relation to funding and commercialisation.

Author PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Innovation