By Daniel Hunter

Innovative research that will shape the future for smart sustainable cities throughout the world will be at the heart of an institute launched at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

The Institute for Future Cities will be a world-leading multi-disciplinary centre for innovative research and teaching that will develop new approaches for the way people live, work, learn and invest in cities.

Working in partnership with cities, business, research institutions and government across the world, the new Institute will create a focus and strategy to coordinate ground-breaking research on urban themes.

The Institute will tackle large, complex and difficult issues and opportunities for cities across the world and help people understand them in new ways.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland rightly has a global reputation for innovation and creativity. This new institute will put our nation at the forefront of this field, using innovative knowledge and technologies to improve the way we live, work, learn and invest in our cities.

“The Scottish Cities Alliance recognises the benefits of partnership and collaboration. In today's world of global competition it is important that we work with industry and academia to ensure that our cities are well placed to compete internationally and bring maximum benefits to the people of Scotland.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The launch of the Institute for Future Cities is an important milestone both for the University and for the City of Glasgow as we position ourselves as global leaders on smart sustainable cities.

“Over half the world’s population now lives in cities and globally cities will continue to grow. As an institution with an international reputation, the University of Strathclyde is in a strong position to make major impacts, ensuring our world-class research and education programmes make a real difference to people living in Glasgow and cities across the world.”

David Smith, director of technology, engineering and creative industries, Scottish Enterprise, said: "Scottish Enterprise very much welcomes the launch of the Institute. It is the latest addition to the innovation system in Scotland focused on the growing opportunity for Scotland's technology and engineering companies to develop and deliver global products and services to meet the future needs of cities."

The Institute for Future Cities will build on a range of current projects in the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow. These include the Technology Strategy Board’s £24 million Future City Demonstrator and City Observatory that is integrating multiple city systems in Glasgow - and the €3.7 million STEP UP Strathclyde-led European research programme on sustainable city planning and implementation where Glasgow is working with the cities of Gothenburg, Riga and Ghent to deliver major carbon emission reductions, as well as tackling social and economic issues.

Richard Bellingham, Director of Smart Sustainable Cities at University of Strathclyde, and former Head of Energy Policy for Scottish Government, will be Director of the new Institute for Future Cities.

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