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Current projects

SmartGov: Smart Governance of Sustainable Cities

Funded by: 

Funding Councils in the United Kingdom (ESRC); Netherlands (NWO), and Brazil (FAPESP) have co-funded the research.

UK funding by: ESRC: ES/N011473/1. £278,009

Project Partners:

Utrecht University (Netherlands)

Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil)

University of Stirling (United Kingdom)

Collaborative Partners:

Scottish Cities Alliance 

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom 

City of Utrecht 

City of Glasgow 

Municipality of Curitiba 

Summary of the project:

‘Smart Cities’ is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly influential in how citizens, businesses and policy-makers use smart technologies to collectively engage in the re-design and shaping of local services, sustainability initiatives, and urban development.

Our research aims to advance collaborative governance between citizens and governments for sustainable urban development. Smart use of ICT presents a ‘’golden opportunity’’ for engaging citizens to co-produce liveable cities. Many local and regional governments are experimenting with social networking technologies but little is known about their significance in civic involvement. Therefore, our key research objective is to analyse how the use of ICT stimulates or hinders collaborative sustainability governance.

We investigate the dynamics, outcomes and the critical factors of co-creation between citizens and governments in various policy domains (infrastructure, economy and social issues) and in three different countries (Brazil, UK and the Netherlands). A strong focus on place, heterogeneity, spatial variation and context maximises the relevance of our research for a variety of cities all around the world.

The research is conducted by three research institutes: Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of Stirling (UK) and Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil). In addition, the research is embedded in the international cooperation between the cities of Utrecht (the Netherlands), Glasgow (UK, Scotland) and Curitiba/São Paulo (Brazil). The cross-country comparison helps to reveal the contextualised, place-specific influences on governance models and their societal results.

Dissemination to other practitioners, public communication and dialogue (beyond academia) includes the following

- National SmartGov conferences. The results of the research will be communicated to other cities through a national conference in each country
- SmartGov Virtual citizen summit. In May 2019, a virtual citizen summit will engage citizens in the 3 cities
- SmartGov Knowledge System. The research project will result in a knowledge system that provides access to insights, examples, contextual guidelines and considerations about smart governance.

- Interactive SmartGov Internet Platform. This platform is set up to present the findings of the research project and to facilitate discussions about the findings and their implications 

The system will be maintained by the community of smart governance professionals and researchers involved in the project

The outputs from the ‘SmartGov’ project will enhance sustainable development in urban regions, providing sustainable solutions for challenges faced in our current and future society. The knowledge created will also be used to strengthen democratic governance practices. The research will not produce a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to smart governance, but the basis for learning between cities around the world.

Contacts at the University of Stirling:

Professor William Webster:

Dr Elaine Robinson:


Social Media:


Leleux, C. and Webster, W. (2018) 'Delivering Smart Governance in a Future City: The Case of Glasgow’, Media and Communication, 6,4, pp.163-174


Leleux, C. and Webster, W. (2018) 'Smart Governance: Opportunities for Technologically-mediated Citizen Co-production',

Information Polity, 23,1, pp.95-110

DOI: 10.3233/IP-170065

Meijer, A., Tomor, Z., Michels, A. and Geertman, G. (2016) ‘Participant or data source?

Citizens as an extension of urban innovation capacity’, Public Administration, 25,4, pp. 29-39

DOI: 10.5553/Bk/092733872016025004004

Diamond - EU Funded project on gender and transport employment and transport use

Diamond - Revealing fair and actionable knowledge from data to support women’s inclusion in Transport systems

Funded by: EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) (Grant 824326 - €2,628,406)

Dates: November 2018-October 2021

Partners: The DIAMOND project, consisting of thirteen international and interdisciplinary consortium partners – including transport operators, companies, NGOs and university partners from Spain, UK, France, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Turkey and Ireland: Fundacio Eurecat ES (project leader); Technical University Dublin IE; AITEC Asesores Internacionales, SRL ES; The University Of Stirling UK;  Systematica S.r.l. IT;  Edinburgh Napier University UK; Univerzitet u Beogradu - Saobracajni fakultet RS; Zarzad Transportu Miejskiego PL; Genre et Ville FR; Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya ES; Syndicat mixte Autolib' FR; Heksagon Muhendislik Ve Tasarim As TR; Rina Services Spa IT; WAVE FR.

Summary of the project:

Current transport systems do not sufficiently take into account the physical and social characteristics of women in the design of products and services, or in fostering women’s employability in the industry.

The DIAMOND project will utilise technologies such as data mining and analytics, together with the use of elicitation data collection techniques, including qualitative techniques, to gather and analyse information from different international stakeholders.

This will allow the generation of actionable knowledge for addressing gender-specific needs for transport decision-making, planning tools and methods. DIAMOND will exploit such technological advances and innovations to:

  • analyse real-world scenarios where these open issues exist, and
  • take concrete action, to create a fair and inclusive transport system.

DIAMOND’s main goal is to turn data into actionable knowledge based on notions of fairness, in order to progress towards a gender  inclusive and efficient transport system.

This objective will be achieved by the development of a methodology based on the collection and analysis of disaggregated data, including new sources, analytics and management techniques from across a range of EU nation states.

This data will allow us to identify, design and evaluate specific measures for fulfilling the needs and expectations of women as users of different transport modes (or who may also use modes differently) and as employees in the transport sector.

The knowledge gathered in the data analysis will also support the development of a toolbox that will provide recommendations for organisations on how to achieve fair inclusiveness for women in each of the identified case studies (use cases).

Interdisciplinary analysis combining methods from social sciences and computer science will contribute to the fairness of the model and its results (i.e. condition of being free from bias or injustice). The project will make concrete advances in four real-world scenarios (use cases) where inclusiveness has currently been highlighted as a central issue:

1. railways and public multimodal transport

2. Vehicle Dynamics control towards autonomous driving

3. vehicle sharing

4. corporate social responsibility and employment.

Contacts at the University of Stirling:

Professor Ronald McQuaid:

Dr Yvonne Hail:


Diamond twitter - @DIAMOND_H2020

Website -

Strengthening Key Competencies of Low-Skilled People in VET to Cover Future Replacement Positions (REPLAY-VET)

REPLAY-VET is an ERASMUS+ strategic partnership which aims to provide the disadvantaged and low- skilled people with targeted opportunities to acquire the VET skills to cover the job vacancies in Europe resulting from replacement demand.

REPLAY-VET will provide enhanced VET opportunities for people furthest from employment, including an innovative new strategy to identify those low- skilled positions in critical sectors that will have the greatest impact in the future and best practice strategies aimed at strengthening the key competencies of low- skilled people.

The participating organizations are:

Link to project website:

The Project is funded by Erasmus +.  Erasmus + is the European programme in the areas of education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It is a unique programme which aims at promoting labour perspectives and personal development, as well as at helping our education, training and youth systems promote training which will empower people with the skills needed for the current and future working market and society as a whole.

The impact of including pricing and ‘tax payer funded’ information on medicine labelling and its influence on attitudes, use, and misuse.

What is the impact of including information on medicine labelling such as pricing and the statement ‘funded by the tax payer’ (as previously proposed by the UK health minister, see Little information exists on whether this information would help or hurt in terms of outcomes such as adherence to prescription schedules, selling on of medicines, and feeling of gratitude vs. guilt. Led by behavioural science centre members Dr. Conny Wollbrant and Dr. Simon McCabe, early data from an experimental study suggests both positive and negative repercussions of such labelling. Future work is being planned to better understand for who, and under what circumstances the presence (or absence) of such information on labelling will be most efficient. ​

Employee Ownership in Scotland – Census 2018 and 2019

In this study for Scottish Enterprise and Co-operative Development Scotland, a Census is being taken of Employee Ownership businesses in Scotland in both 2018 and 2019. This covers around 95 organisations. A report will be presented to the funders in 2019. It builds on earlier work carried out on the performance of Employee Ownership businesses for Scottish Enterprise and for the Employee Ownership Association (UK) on employee wellbeing.

Professor Ronald McQuaid and Dr Suzanne Mawson, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Plus Dr Seemab Farooqi, and Dr Naja Yusof.

Related publications:  

Brown, R., McQuaid, R. Raeside, R., Dutton, M., Egdell, V. and Canduela, J. (2018) Buying into Capitalism?  Employee Ownership in a Disconnected Era’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, doi:10.1111/bjir.12309

Brown, R., McQuaid, R. Raeside, R. and Canduela, J. (2014) ‘The performance of employee-owned businesses in Scotland: some preliminary empirical evidence’, Fraser of Allander Institute Economic Commentary, 37, 3, 108-117.

McQuaid, R., Brown, R., Summers, J. and S. Mawson (2014) Employee Owned Businesses – Access to Funding, Report to Scottish Enterprise, Co-operative Development Scotland, Glasgow

McQuaid, R., Canduela, J., Egdell, V., Dutton, M. and Raeside, R. (2013) The Growth of Employee Owned Businesses in Scotland, Report to Scottish Enterprise,

McQuaid, R., Hollywood, E., Bond, S., Canduela, J., Richard, A and Blackledge, G. (2012) Health and wellbeing of employees in employee owned businesses, Report for John Lewis Partnership and Employee Ownership Association.

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