First Minister unveils new innovation funding and opens National Retrofit Centre in Scotland

18/01/2024
Stephen Good, BE-ST CEO (L) and First Minister (R) at BE-ST

FIRST MINISTER Humza Yousaf visits BE-ST’s Innovation Campus to announce the Scottish Funding Council’s investment plan and open the National Retrofit Centre of Excellence.

First Minister Humza Yousaf visited Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST)’s Innovation Campus to unveil the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) new investment plan for innovation centres and inaugurate BE-ST’s National Retrofit Centre of Excellence. BE-ST is one of four innovation centres selected for significant, long-term annual investment. 

The funding aims to enhance integration into Scotland’s innovation support infrastructure. The other centres benefiting from the funding are The Data Lab, Industrial Biotechnology IC (IBioIC), and Digital Health and Care IC (DHI). The move strengthens ties with colleges and universities, fostering innovation in Scotland’s construction and built environment sector. 

First Minister opens National Retrofit Centre of Excellence

The visit included witnessing day-to-day activities at BE-ST, retrofit and Passivhaus skills training, and the official opening of the National Retrofit Centre of Excellence, co-funded by the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Napier University, and BE-ST. The centre will play a crucial role in revolutionising the retrofitting approach in the UK.

BE-ST CEO Stephen Good expressed gratitude, stating: “After starting with an empty factory space, opening the National Retrofit Centre of Excellence today was a huge milestone in BE-ST’s journey.” 

He highlighted the forthcoming SFC funding as a means to supercharge the delivery of an active skills program. Karen Watt, Chief Executive of SFC, emphasised the continuation of support for BE-ST to promote innovation for a zero-carbon built environment. 

First Minister Humza Yousaf praised the long-term commitment, stating: “This is a long-term commitment that will deliver greater stability and allow them to sustain and deepen their impact.” The innovation centres facilitate collaboration between academia and businesses, driving societal impact and economic prosperity across Scotland.

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