Innovative companies will be able to trial new health products in clinical settings across Scotland following a link-up between the Scottish Government’s £42 million Techscaler programme and the NHS.
Participants in the programme, which provides world class expertise and support to young businesses with high growth potential, are being offered access to NHS Regional Test Beds.
These enable entrepreneurs to work alongside clinicians and have access to patients and anonymised data to test ideas, products and services.
And in a reciprocal agreement, firms already using the NHS Test Beds will automatically become part of the Techscaler network.
Wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray announced the move during a visit to Bioliberty in Edinburgh, which uses robotics to provide rehabilitation and assistance for stroke survivors.
The company will be one of 14 firms in sectors including healthtech and life sciences to join a Scottish Government-funded visit to New York to showcase their work.
Mr Gray said: “Scotland’s life sciences sector has an annual turnover of more than £8 billion and is one of our key sectors for transformative economic growth.
“This partnership will be able to leverage our world-leading universities, life sciences hubs and excellent healthcare systems to support the growth of the sector and development of entrepreneurs.
“Testing products in a real world environment and accelerating development is vital, and will enable a broader reach of the Tech Scaler programme.
“This in turn will benefit patients and medical staff as they develop cutting-edge technology for use across the NHS, from stroke and rehabilitation through to reducing drug-related deaths.
“It is a further example of the steps we are taking as we develop a sustainable, high-skill economy that works for everyone.”
Chief scientist (health) Anna Dominiczak said: “I welcome this collaboration, which will result in transformative innovations for the NHS and help to ensure that Scotland is the best location for life sciences companies.”
The Techscaler network was recommended as part of Scotland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Logan’s Technology ecosystem review.
Logan said: “By making this connection between health testing and business support, we create an environment for innovation which enables Scottish companies to compete effectively, whilst bringing much-needed treatment solutions to the NHS.”