A Scottish university has teamed up with a health innovation body to fast-track medical and healthcare technologies and better understand clinical and nursing needs in Scotland.

The five-year agreement will see Heriot-Watt University’s Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) collaborate with InnoScot Health, formerly known as Scottish Health Innovations, to help bring innovations from healthcare professionals to life.

The strategic relationship will initially focus on identifying new healthcare technologies and the development of prototype medical devices by engaging with clinicians, doctors, nurses, and engineering students.

Based at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, the MDMC is a consortium including the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow and Robert Gordon University and helps Scotland’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to translate medical device concepts into commercial products.

Offering free expert advice on, and access to, manufacturing engineering, regulatory issues, and funding, its staff provide technically supported access to its £2 million specialist manufacturing facilities.

InnoScot Health works in partnership with NHS Scotland, providing expert intellectual property advice, regulatory expertise, and project management services to support the development and commercialisation of clinical products.

In addition to the new partnership’s research and development ambitions, both organisations will work to develop joint Continual Professional Development (CPD) and training programmes that further develop staff from both organisations in regulatory issues relating to medical devices.

Graham Watson, executive chair of InnoScot Health, says the agreement is a “landmark’ moment for health tech.

He said: “This mutually beneficial agreement builds on our successful long-standing relationship with Heriot-Watt University and pools our significant collective expertise.

“It is a landmark moment that will serve to accelerate medical and healthcare opportunities in the first instance with vast possibilities thereafter.

“We are in no doubt that Heriot-Watt’s considerable enterprise credentials and status as a leading innovation and research institution can match our own ambitions whilst helping to underpin our own development aims in the sector.”

Professor Marc Desmulliez, manager of the MDMC at Heriot-Watt University, said: “In just two years, the MDMC has created a unique business collaboration model, working with more than 60 companies, accelerating the progression of ideas to market and the adoption of medical devices into clinical settings.

“Specialist training is fundamental to our continued success and we are confident this new strategic partnership will further accelerate Scotland’s innovative medtech SMEs, ultimately benefitting and improving patient care. We are looking forward to putting this partnership into practice.”