MP visits Strathclyde as part of Royal Society Pairing Scheme

The University of Strathclyde welcomed Alison Thewliss MP to campus (August 23) in a visit that was part of the Royal Society Pairing Scheme which saw Alison host Strathclyde Business School's Professor Matt Hannon, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, at Westminster in March.

As part of the Pairing Scheme, Professor Hannon travelled to Westminster where he shadowed the MP in her parliamentary duties and attended various parliamentary committees and meetings.  The purpose of the scheme is to give researchers and MPs insight into how government and academia can work together: researchers learn more about how policy and government works and MPs learn more about how academia functions and the value it offers policy makers.

On the Strathclyde part of the Pairing Scheme, Ms Thewliss met with and was briefed by members of the University Executive – Dr Stuart Fancey, University Secretary who leads on strategy and planning; Professor Tim Bedford, Associate Principal who leads the research and innovation portfolio; and Gillian Docherty, Chief Commercial Officer, who is responsible for driving forward the University's sector-leading activities with industry. She was briefed on Strathclyde’s ‘anchor institution’ role in two of Glasgow’s Innovation Districts, GCID and AMIDS and was given a brief tour of TIC (Technology and Innovation Centre), meeting with researchers from CMAC and the Microgrid Lab before meeting with six selected researchers covering Energy, Economic & Social Policy and Health, Public Health, and the Third Sector.

Dr Fancey, who hosted the MP’s visit, said, “We had great pleasure in welcoming our constituency MP Alison Thewliss to Strathclyde, as part of the Royal Society Pairing Scheme. 

“The visit provided an opportunity for our researchers to communicate the reality of Strathclyde as a place of useful learning, something that Ms Thewliss picked up time and again during her visit with us.

“One of the important contributions we make here at Strathclyde is to inform policy and legislation through communicating the findings of our research and scholarship to support evidence-led decision-making in our democracy. To achieve this, it is essential that we work closely with our elected politicians and develop a mutual understanding of how we can support each other in our respective roles.

“The Royal Society’s Pairing Scheme is a valuable part of this dialogue, and we look forward to continued participation in it, as well as to welcoming other elected representatives to Strathclyde in the future.”   

Professor Hannon, who accompanied the ​Glasgow Central SNP MP on her visit, said, "We offered a bird’s eye view of the university’s plans for the future, as well as a showcase on cutting-edge research including Net Zero, Health and Immigration. I'm very grateful to have been partnered with Alison and thank her and the Royal Society for the opportunity."

Professor Hannon wrote a blog following his Westminster visit earlier in the year which can be read here:

Photograph shows L-R: Mhairi Love (Researcher for Alison Thewliss MP), Professor Matt Hannon (Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship), Hannah Corbett (Centre for Energy Policy), Dr. Emmaleena Kakela (Social Work and Social Policy), Alison Thewliss MP, Professor Madeleine Grealy (Deputy Associate Principal), Professor Katherine Smith ( Professor of Public Health Policy), Professor Mairi Spowage (Fraser of Allander Institute) and Dr Stuart Fancey (University Secretary).

Published: 29 August 2023

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