Scottish Affairs Committee visits UK ATC and Higgs Centre
02 Feb 2024



MPs visited Edinburgh as part of the inquiry into Science and Scotland.

6 MPS, who form the Scottish Affairs Committee, pictured in the Higgs Centre for Innovations.



​As part ofMembers of the Scottish Affairs Committee are shown astronomy instruments being built in the labs at UK ATC. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) it was a privilege to host the Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) inquiry into Science and Scotland this week. Cross-party MPs visited Edinburgh to discover more about some of the amazing technology and expertise in this country. 

Starting with a tour and opportunity to meet staff at UK ATC, visiting our workshops and labs to see work progressing on MOONS and LISA. Two highly advanced astronomy instruments that will reveal new details about the Universe. 

This was followed by a roundtable discussion with a broad selection of Scottish science-based startup companies at the Higgs Centre for Innovation​, located alongside UK ATC at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Some of these startups started out at the Higgs business incubation centre, including Metacarpal, Eye to the Future, and Silver Lion Innovations. The Committee was looking for input into what is working well, and what could be done better – for supporting science and engineering spinouts and startups in Scotland. 

Before the SAC moved on to The National Robotarium, at Heriot-Watt campus in Edinburgh, the UK's centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. 

Professor Gillian Wright CBE, FRSE, Director at UK ATC, said: “Scotland continues to build on its rich heritage of scientific and technological innovation, and this was a great opportunity to showcase UK ATC's cutting-edge work to the Scottish Affairs Committee."

Dr Julian Dines, Head of Innovation at the Higgs Centre for Innovation, said: “We hope the Scottish Affairs Committee gained useful insight into the breadth of scientific endeavour taking place across Scotland and the amazing companies developed on the back of this. Everyone at the Higgs Centre for Innovation is very proud of the role we play supporting such deep-tech businesses as they start their journey."