Enabling strategy on engagement and enterprise

On this page

Recognising strength

The city locates us in a network of dynamic relationships: its economy, its natural resources, its culture and imagination, social institutions, and knowledge networks. These networks have shaped our ethos, through its history of radical thought, passionate creativity, and commitment to social equity. We realise our possibilities in the world together. In return, we feel our responsibility to play our part in their wellbeing. Our power to advance those ecosystems through joint working has been proven.

Through collaboration with the regional National Health Service Board we have transformed lives by making Dundee the first city in the world to eliminate hepatitis C. 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. The University’s reputation was 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.

The strength of these relationships has not gone unnoticed. Our commitment to translational research through industry partnerships has earned us recognition as one of Europe’s most innovative universities. Our enterprise culture, drawing from innovative research and education, is strongly geared to creating prosperity and wellbeing, and leads to consistent recognition as one of the top universities for our success in the creation of spin-out companies. We are also the first university in Scotland to win an institutional Gold Watermark from the UK National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. Meanwhile our enterprise culture, geared at creating prosperity and wellbeing, has seen us ranked 5th in the UK and first in Scotland for the successful creation of spin out companies.

Strategic vision

Our immediate priorities are innovation in the Life Sciences, to be joined by eco-innovation (including Net Zero), and the creative industries, including AI and creative computing. Our first focus will be to deliver a globally recognised Life Sciences Innovation District, cementing the reputation of Dundee as a powerhouse of biomedical innovation and boarder biosciences.

We will listen and learn so we co-create economic, civic and cultural benefits in a sustainable, inclusive and socially responsible manner.

We will sustain Dundee as a globally recognised engine of start-up and spin-out businesses, developing our ability to grow and retain companies and wealth-creation in the region.

Our One Dundee approach will mobilise staff and students in engagement, widely sharing our expertise where sought.

Supporting excellence

Working with partners

  • Our strategy will allow for different approaches when working together to help deliver the best outcomes for diverse communities and partners.
  • We will deliver a Life Sciences Innovation District – in partnership with Dundee City Council, the private and charitable sectors - cementing the reputation of Dundee as a powerhouse of innovation.
  • We will work with strategic partners, including the Eden Trust, to deliver the net zero just transition for the region and sustainable futures worldwide.
  • We will lead decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure in the North Sea whilst promoting wider decarbonisation ambitions through the Dundee Climate Change Leaders Group.
  • We will continue to lead the cultural and creative sector within the city and region, especially in the post-COVID recovery period. Our international ambitions will be developed through collaborations via the Creative Cities network involving the global family of UNESCO Cities of Design.
  • We will create opportunities for students and staff to collaborate with stakeholder organisations (local government, third sector and community groups) to promote more liveable, inclusive and sustainable living.
  • We will develop at least one global priority area for successful community engagement and impact.

An engagement framework

  • We will refresh analysis of the impact of the University on jobs and the economy, allowing us to critically reflect on the impact of university spending, student spending, commercialisation and spin-out activity, tourism, capital projects and community projects in the city.
  • We will listen to all the communities we engage with, and work together with them to deliver positive social impacts.
  • We will explore lifelong learning, professional education, and continued professional development markets to diversify knowledge transmission.

Structure and support

  • We will extend the reach of the business creation activities supported by the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Research & Innovation Services.
  • We will establish a clear framework for recording our engagement activities and their impact.
  • We will ensure engagement with relevant politicians, civil servants and public bodies at Scottish and UK level to help advance purposeful collaborations.
  • We will provide training and opportunities for staff and students to develop their public engagement activities, enabling all to take pride in sharing and developing their knowledge with others.
  • We will provide structured programmes of support for regional entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • We will ensure that contribution to enterprise, engagement, and social purpose is recognised in staff workloads, performance, and promotion.