Economic transformation

Learn about the extent of our economic impact, from our local city region to international research partnerships.

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Since the arrival of the University’s Principal Professor Iain Gillespie in 2021, the University has assumed the leading role within our city-region, and the University’s Strategic Plan now reflects the importance of the regional dimension to the University with social purpose at the heart of it and an explicit “Engagement & Enterprise” sub-strategy. The Principal chairs the University’s Regional Development Strategy Board, which acts as a focal point for the University’s leadership of regional activities, and is a member of the Management Group for the £700M Tay Cities Deal (backed by the UK and Scottish Governments).

The renewed focus on transformation of our city-region builds on several key partnerships.  Our partnership with Dundee City Council helped attract the V&A Dundee (Scotland’s Design Museum) and supported the city’s achievement of UNESCO City of Design status in 2013. The University signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc in 2020 to work together to develop new and advancing products for the future of sustainable mobility and low carbon energy. Acting as a beacon within our fast-changing city, we will continue to transform lives in the region with our partners.

Tay Cities Deal

Using £25M Tay Cities Deal funding as a foundation, the University, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council have committed to delivering a Life Sciences Innovation District to help create and retain more high-growth life sciences companies within the region. The potential of the bioeconomy to grow the number of companies providing high-quality jobs locally while achieving global impact was recently highlighted within the Dundee Partnership new City Plan. In it, the Partnership commits to delivering the Tay Cities Deal and continuing to work to develop the Life Sciences Innovation District to help deliver its vision of a strong, creative, smart and sustainable city economy with jobs and opportunities for all.

Learn more about the Tay Cities Deal

Cultural and creative sector

The University’s reputation has been key to attracting the Eden Project to Dundee, with plans to open a world-leading centre of education, ecology and inclusive community practices driving urban regeneration. Moreover, a Design and Creative District with our regional cultural partners and global family of UNESCO cities of design will continue to transform the cultural and creative sector in the post-COVID recovery period.


The University already has a strong reputation for success with the Enterprise agenda. Our Centre for Entrepreneurship, established 2016, provides a platform for student and alumni entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into exciting new companies, which regularly feature in the shortlists for Converge Challenge (Scotland’s national competition for University enterprise]. We are recognised nationally for the success of our Spin-out companies – 4th in the UK for equity volume into spin outs and 1st in Scotland (Parkwalk Advisor: Equity investment into UK Spinouts 2022). Our spin-out companies Exscientia and Amphista have been recognised globally with multiple awards. The University sees the creation and growth of innovative start-up companies in Dundee as a critical part of its regional mission.

Global research partnerships

Our mission continues to be to 'transform lives – locally and globally - through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge' and this is also reflected in the global reach of our research with industry. Our long lasting and considerable research partnerships with industry, such as Dundee’s Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) and the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation, have consistently won awards and have earned us recognition as one of Europe’s most innovative universities and as the most influential scientific research institution in pharmaceuticals.