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Health innovation

Helping NHS Scotland stay at the forefront of medical advances

Health innovation is an exciting and dynamic area with a range of stakeholders from all sectors working collaboratively to position Scotland as a world leader in health innovation, contribute to a thriving economy and support faster adoption of innovation across health and social care.

Scotland is already recognised as an innovative nation, boasting a world class NHS, world-renowned universities and research strengths, high levels of investment in R&D and a number of internationally innovative health companies operating in Scotland including those based at Edinburgh BioQuarter and BioCity. The recently refreshed 2017 Scottish Life Sciences Strategy sets out strategic priorities for the sector to fulfil Scotland’s ambitions to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.

The Scottish Government has outlined its commitment to innovation with the recently published Scotland Can Do - Boosting Scotland's Innovation Performance: An Innovation Action Plan For Scotland (January 2017) and more specifically to health innovation within the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan (December 2016).

A range of initiatives and partnerships are already well established as part of the overall drive to support health innovation in Scotland including:

Scotland’s Innovation Centres

Over the last 5 years six Innovation Centre’s directly aligned to Life Sciences, with core funding of around £100m have been established:

These centres are designed to link academia and industry to turn innovation into commercial value, making Scotland more competitive within the UK and internationally.

The Health Innovation Partnership (HIP)

A unique liaison service that identifies, supports and coordinates the formation of specific partnerships between NHS Scotland and the Life Sciences industry to advance health and social care challenges. A Digital Health and Social Care Innovation Partnership is also led by NHS 24.

Scottish Health Technologies Group

An advisory group set up to provide assistance to NHSScotland boards when considering selected health technologies, excluding medicines which will be reviewed by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

Health Innovation Assessment Portal (HIAP – Scotland)

Encourages prospective providers of new and/or innovative products and solutions to put them forward enabling NHS Scotland to assess how the solution might support strategic aims, and associated costs and benefits.

Innovation Hubs/Clusters

Local Innovation hubs within NHS Boards to support the development and implementation of innovative ideas created locally including NHS Grampian Innovation hub who recently launched their Big Pitch event to support and encourage local innovators.

Innovation Challenges

Scottish Enterprise work in partnership with Innovate UK and a range of public sector organisations to fund and promote a series of innovation challenges currently faced by the UK's public sector. Currently, this includes up to £400,000 for innovative technology and digital platforms that improve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) care. More detail on current innovation challenges is also available via the NHS Scotland Innovation Community website.