A digital directory to help life science companies work with the NHS was launched today at the annual Life Science Scotland conference in Glasgow by Dave Tudor, co-chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group (LSS).

The ‘Scottish Health Research and Innovation Ecosystem’ will help companies engage directly with NHS Scotland to develop collaborative working projects. A simplified search process allows companies to find the correct contacts quickly and easily, promoting collaboration, accelerating projects and helping advance new approaches to patient care.

The directory is an easily searchable database of NHS, clinical, academic and trade organisations, with short descriptions of what they do and contact details. It also allows companies to search under the headings: invent, develop, test and sell connecting start-ups with the correct contacts. A second tier search of clinical and technical areas identifies organisations and facilities needed to progress new products and plans.

Julia Brown, senior director of high value manufacturing and health at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Collaboration between industry and NHS Scotland is key to the life sciences sector and Scotland achieving its potential.

“Scottish Enterprise is proud to have supported the creation of this new resource to help companies identify and access NHS and health research organisations to develop collaborative working projects and processes, from concept development through to commercialisation.”

The Life Sciences Scotland Strategy vision is to make Scotland the location of choice for life sciences businesses, researchers, healthcare professionals and investors while increasing life sciences contribution to Scotland’s economic growth.

It says there is significant potential and opportunity for Scotland’s commercial, academic and clinical expertise to drive such growth, and the directory is a welcome boost to this.

Making these connections, and matching Scotland’s clinical and academic expertise with healthcare industry product development is critical to increasing the level of high-quality health research conducted in Scotland, said LSS.

The directory is an opportunity to showcase Scotland’s infrastructure and state of the art facilities as well as clinical and academic expertise and the efficient, supportive and attractive research environment, it added.

Dr Charles Weller, general manager, of NHS Research Scotland – Central Management Team (NRS –CMT) said: “NHS Research Scotland (NRS) simplifies access to Scotland’s world-class research infrastructure, supporting the placement, setup and delivery of clinical research studies and innovative research collaborations from all sectors and therapy areas.

“Research and innovation are vital drivers of improved patient care and economic growth; and this tool complements our existing collaborative efforts with the life sciences community to develop new and improved treatments for patients.”

The directory was developed by LSS working with the NHS Research Scotland (NRS), Scottish Enterprise and other partners.