Press release

University welcomes Tay Cities Deal

Published on 17 December 2020

The University of Dundee has welcomed the signing of the Tay Cities Deal, which will boost efforts to capitalise on our world-class strengths in biomedicine and forensic science, creating hundreds of new jobs and attracting further investment.

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Architect's image of the Innovation Hub for the Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster project

The University is leading two major projects within the Tay Cities Deal. These will bring a combined £40million in funding to Dundee from the UK and Scottish Governments.

The `Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster’ project builds on our world-class expertise in life sciences research, drug discovery and medical devices. It will create a new Innovation Hub where world-class academic and entrepreneurial expertise is combined to provide new treatments and technologies for medicine and life sciences.

Independent economic assessment of the impact of the Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster project alone is for 280 new jobs by 2033, rising to 800 new jobs and over £190 million benefit to the local economy by 2053.

The `JustTech’ project will create an Institute of Innovation for Forensic Science, leveraging Dundee’s reputation in forensic science research to create a new economic cluster for the Tay Cities Region.

Operating in a fast growing global sector and with ever wider translational opportunities it will harness the economic benefits of new knowledge particularly in the implementation of digital technologies, working with start-ups, SMEs and corporations.

The Biomedical Cluster project is being given funding of £25m in the Tay Cities Deal, with a further £15m earmarked for JustTech.

Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “The Tay Cities Deal will have a great impact on Dundee, Perth and the surrounding areas, with the University at the heart of that, working with local partners.

“Our projects are based on areas where we have already established great strength and expertise. With the boost provided by the Tay Cities Deal we can capitalise on those strengths to stimulate innovation and enterprise, creating new jobs, expanding the skills base and attracting investment.”

Professor Niamh Nic Daéid, Director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University and project lead for JustTech, said, “We are going to establish an Institute of Innovation for Forensic Science that will be unlike anything else in the world, providing a launch pad for commercial innovation unlocking the scientific and technological expertise developed and held within our universities.

“While creating new jobs and economic growth locally and nationally this project will also, crucially, define, develop and deliver the science and technology needed to serve justice particularly as it is catapulted into the digital age, in countries across the world.”

Professor Mike Ferguson, Regius Professor of Life Sciences and co-lead of the Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster project, said, “Thanks to the region’s outstanding reputation and capacity in biomedical research, built up over many years, we have an extremely strong pipeline of innovation, entrepreneurship and new company formation. This is attracting major inward investment. The project will enable us to fully exploit our competitive advantage by anchoring and growing new companies in a purpose-built Innovation Hub on Dundee’s Technopole site, adjacent to the university. The Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster project will bring jobs, training opportunities and prosperity for the region and solutions for unmet medical needs for the world.”

Graeme Houston, Professor of Clinical Imaging and co-lead of the Biomedical Cluster project, added, “The Tay Cities Deal will help realise our vision of boosting innovation in medical technology, particularly the design and prototyping of new devices for medicine and surgery.”

The Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster project is being delivered in partnership with NHS Tayside.


Roddy Isles

Head of Corporate Communication

+44 (0)1382 384910