European first as SCC moves to Strathclyde Business School

In Chamber News by Sarah Medcraf

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) and Strathclyde University have agreed a ground-breaking strategic alliance and collocation, the first of its kind in Europe.

SCC’s move from its offices in the Merchants House of Glasgow in George Square to a suite in the newly refurbished Business School building on the city’s Cathedral Street was made as part of a two-way knowledge and skills transfer partnership between the two leading Scottish institutions.

Planned as part of a strategic expansion of SCC’s capabilities, the move will connect Strathclyde Business School’s award-winning research capacity and leading edge teaching faculty to a network of 26 regional Chambers of Commerce across Scotland, comprising a membership of 11,000 ambitious SME companies.

The announcement follows a highly successful year for both Scottish organisations.   Strathclyde Business School was named Business School of the Year in the 2016 Times Higher Education Awards and reopened its building following a £23 million refurbishment. Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network signed major alliances across the globe, opening their first outreach office in Shandong Province in China. The collocation cements the place of the University and the Chambers of Commerce at the heart of Glasgow’s Innovation District.

The Business School and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce will lead, in collaboration with Chambers throughout Scotland, a series of focused initiatives to help Scottish businesses increase their productivity, business management and growth and internationalisation targets.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our campus at Strathclyde is a hub for research, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. The collocation of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce with the Strathclyde Business School brings significant benefits and opportunities to both parties.

“This strategic partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce provides the foundation for our Business School to work throughout Scotland, in partnership with other business educators and local Chambers, to accelerate economic transformation in every region”.

Tim Allan, President of SCC said: “This is a very exciting new alliance which injects academic expertise into Scotland’s most ambitious and creative business network. It is the first step in SCC’s wider ambition to shorten the distance between academia and business to our mutual benefit.

“The Chambers already enjoy a close working relationship with the Fraser of Allander Institute based at Strathclyde University and we see this new alliance with the Business School as a model for intended future academic collaborations.

Mr Allan continued: “SCC is becoming more active in helping our members grow internationally and there is a lot we can learn from Scotland’s university sector, which has been internationally active for 500 years. To boost our penetration in key growth markets such as China, we are also looking to tap into the extraordinary global expertise and knowledge amongst the students and faculty of this internationally renowned and award-winning institution.“

The new premises boast a range of benefits and potential connections with other organisations including the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network. The added connectivity will enable SCC to provide the Chamber Network, and its partners in the business community with enhanced service and increased opportunities for engagement.