Physics and Wealth Creation
Physics is a key discipline underpinning any knowledge-based economy. It is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, the main goal being to understand how the universe behaves. Advancing our understanding of the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature feeds the development of new and disruptive technologies for wealth creation (for instance in manufacturing, renewable energy and medicine) while the procedures, techniques and skills acquired by those trained in physics are widely applicable in many organisations including and beyond technology industries (such as banking, finance and investment). This underlies SUPA’s strategy.
SUPA supports a number of initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and industry engagement. Scottish physics has a track record of spinning out new technology companies aided by schemes such as RSE Enterprise Fellowships, Converge Challenge, Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and SFC Innovation Centres, while funded industry placements are available to graduate students, postdocs and staff. Some graduate students (PhD and EngD) undertake their whole research project in industry. SUPA works with Interface to make specialist facilities available to industry and to establish links with SMEs, and has funding available to assist researchers to build EU/Horizon 2020 and other EU R&D partnerships.
In addition, SUPA’s Expert Tank recruitment site enables graduate students and postdocs to upload their CVs, and companies to advertise vacancies and placement opportunities. Valuable intellectual property regularly emerges from physics research; opportunities for developing IP are available via SUPA’s university partners.
Impact Case Studies
Impact case studies submitted to REF2014 illustrate a range of outcomes of physics research that benefit society: