Scotland Showcases Chemical Industry Excellence, Growth Plans at Informex 2009

Jan 26, 2009, 10:30 ET from Scottish Enterprise

Scottish government and industry launches new PhD initiative to support $13 billion chemicals sector

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Scotland's businesses and academic institutions will be out in force at Informex 2009 in San Francisco as the nation launches plans to continue the growth of the its 9.3 billion pounds Sterling ($13 billion) chemical industry.

Chemical Sciences Scotland, a partnership between leaders from the chemicals industry, universities, colleges, stakeholder groups and Scottish Development International, plans to use the event to showcase collaboration between the country's world-class university research and its expanding chemical business sector. Scotland's chemical industry includes global companies such as Ciba, Dupont, Organon, Syngenta and Dow, as well as innovative Scottish firms Nitech, Equateq and Aboleo, who will be present at Informex.

In the first groundbreaking initiative of 2009, Chemical Sciences Scotland, ScotCHEM, and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) announced the creation of 31 new PhD studentships in Chemistry to work on challenges and opportunities identified by Scotland's chemical industry.

The PhD students will split their time between industry and university placements at the seven universities involved in ScotCHEM; Strathclyde, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen. ScotCHEM and SFC are investing 1.8 million pounds Sterling over 3 years in this collaborative initiative.

"The partnership between universities and the chemicals industry helps to foster closer ties between Scotland's outstanding chemistry research community and its successful chemical industry," said Caroline Strain, Head of Scottish Enterprise's Chemical Sciences Team. "The ongoing collaboration across business and academics contributes to the Scottish Government's purpose of sustainable economic growth."

The PhD studentship program will build on Scotland's proven record for producing high-quality graduates and technicians skilled in the chemical sciences. The thriving chemical research and university education sector had several universities ranked as "world-leading" in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), an independent review that assessed the standard of research across universities, Chemical Sciences Scotland said.

"While we have already demonstrated leadership in chemical sciences," said Caroline Strain, "the mission of Chemical Sciences Scotland is to ensure that a vibrant and competitive chemicals industry exists in 20 years time. To guarantee steady growth of the industry in a fiercely competitive global economy, we must continue to expand our research and development capabilities through enhanced public-private collaboration."

In a sign of the growth of Scotland's chemicals sector, 2009 will see the nation convene high profile international audiences at the Chemical Industry Awards in Edinburgh (June 25, 2009) and IUPAC Congress in Glasgow (August 2-7, 2009), as well as the inaugural Chemical Sciences Scotland conference in Dunblane (March 24, 2009).

The chemicals industry is one of Scotland's top export earners, generating around 1.9 billion pounds Sterling from manufacturing exports, and is also one of Scotland's highest value industries, providing employment for almost 14,000 people directly and nearly 70,000 in total through dependent services.

At Informex 2009, from January 27-30, Chemical Sciences Scotland and Scottish companies will showcase new products and initiatives at the Scottish Development International stand #1142. For further information or interviews with representatives from Scotland, please contact Mike Rymaruk +44 1412282517 or

SOURCE Scottish Enterprise