Aberdeen experts help launch £21m project to boost economic research
A new world-class institute to help researchers tackle some of the challenges facing the economy will be officially opened on Monday (November 19).
The Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) brings together researchers from 10 Scottish universities to collaborate on areas of research and to respond to increasing international competition. Their findings will inform future Government policy.
The £21 million Institute is a joint research venture of the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Napier, Paisley, St Andrews, Stirling and Strathclyde, and is supported with £9.4million funding from the Scottish Funding Council.
SIRE is using the funds to recruit 36 leading researchers, with 18 professorships and 18 lectureships, as well as supporting the development of collaborative research and training activities. The research pool initiative provides a forum for economics experts in Scotland.
The University of Aberdeen is playing a leading role in SIRE research. Economists from its Business School and the Health Economic Research Unit (HERU) in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences will focus on the economic and social factors affecting the health and productivity of the population. The University's recent major investment in a state of the art experimental laboratory provides a major facility for SIRE researchers.
To mark the launch, a one-day conference will take place in the Playfair Library, University of Edinburgh. The conference will draw together 140 economics researchers from SIRE's participating universities, along with some 60 delegates from the public and private sectors.
Throughout the day SIRE economists will present new research on: how economic growth is affected by the legal protection given to new ideas; a novel way of measuring economic mobility between generations; and the performance of the NHS dental service. The conference will conclude with a keynote lecture on Economics for Public Service Reform by Professor Tim Besley, of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.
Michael Hughes, Head of the University of Aberdeen Business School said: "The official opening of SIRE marks a new and exciting phase for economics at Aberdeen. The initiative has already helped us attract a number of leading economists to Aberdeen. This and the strengthening of the collaboration with our partners will increase quality of economics research in the whole of Scotland"
Bob Elliott, Director of the Health Economics Research Unit added: "The opening of SIRE represents an important phase in the development of HERU. This will strengthen our collaboration with the Business School. It will allow us to strengthen our contribution to health policy in Scotland and consolidate our position as one of Europe's leading research centres in health economics. SIRE has allowed us to make some outstanding appointments."
Stuart Sayer, Head of Economics at the University of Edinburgh and Executive Director of SIRE said: "Working in collaboration with other universities in Scotland, the Institute is developing a sustainable reputation for research excellence which is enabling economic research in Scotland to compete effectively in the global market place and enhancing the quality of economic policy advice available in Scotland."
Notes to Editors:
Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.
Issued on: Monday 19th of November 2007