Research leaders from Moredun, Heriot-Watt University and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have participated in a special Exchange Event aimed at stimulating novel interdisciplinary research collaborations and proposing new ideas for even closer research cooperation between the three institutions in the future.
The participants represented a wide range of biological, engineering, management, physical and mathematical sciences spanning many of the principal areas of research excellence from Moredun, Heriot-Watt University and RZSS. Over two days, the group learned more about the research aims, expertise and facilities of each institution from key note speakers including Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute, Prof Julie Fitzpatrick; Chief Executive Officer of the RZSS, Prof Chris West; Director of Giant Panda Project and Strategic Innovations, RZSS, Dr Iain Valentine; and Head of Research Institute in Signals, Sensors and Systems at Heriot-Watt University, Prof Marc Desmulliez.
The Exchange Event comprised an intensive, interactive programme of seminars, collaboration exercises, tours and facilitated discussions during which participants were challenged to develop proposals for interdisciplinary research projects. Prof Alan Miller, Former Deputy Principal for Research & KE, Heriot-Watt University and Trustee of the RZSS, said “I was very impressed by the originality and scope of new ideas generated by this intensely interactive event, which I am certain will lead to many innovative interactions and projects exploiting the complementary knowledge and skills of the participants from the three organisations”.
It is hoped that this event will build on the success of the inaugural Heriot-Watt – Moredun Exchange Event held in 2011 which saw the subsequent development of a research partnership which went on to win a 9 million euro research grant from the European Union .
Commenting on the developing track record of successful research collaborations between Heriot-Watt University and Moredun, and ambitions for future synergies with RZSS, Prof Lee Innes, Principal Scientist and Director of Communication, Moredun Research Institute said, “We have had a really interesting couple of days at the workshop meeting new colleagues, exchanging ideas and building some innovative collaborative links going forward. I am very confident from what I have heard at this event and the enthusiasm of the participants that some exciting new areas of work will be developed bringing together the diverse skills and interests across the three organisations ”.
The Exchange Event was developed by the Centre for Academic Leadership & Development (ALD) at Heriot-Watt University based on their experience of designing Scottish Crucible and Heriot-Watt Crucible programmes.