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Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) is set to unveil a progressive five-year strategy, outlining its ambitions to sit at the heart of a collaborative, entrepreneurial Scotland fostering the best in Scottish innovation and supporting a world-class NHS.

This strategic plan – currently in development following NHS consultation and with the wider innovation community – will be revealed in the coming months, highlighting the organisation’s directional aspirations up to 2026, including key themes, an expansive vision, and a renewed mission statement.

The strategy will also reveal how SHIL plans to work with and support those leading innovation in the NHS during one of the most challenging periods in its history.

SHIL has supported innovation across NHS Scotland for almost two decades, holding a unique position in protecting and developing NHS-initiated ideas.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the vital importance of innovation, SHIL’s role in supporting, facilitating, and developing ideas from health and social care professionals has taken on renewed importance. At the same time close working with NHS, academia, industry and funders has cemented the value in bringing together the right skills, expertise, and ambition to unlock the true collective potential of Scotland and meaningfully shape the future of healthcare.

SHIL has been a significant part of the COVID response over the last year – assessing innovative ideas, providing expert intellectual property and regulatory advice, and encouraging health professionals to submit ground-breaking ideas through dedicated COVID-19 funding calls.

It has recognised that the NHS is now a different environment where collaboration is ever more critical and the need to accelerate innovation by rapidly coordinating work that can benefit Scotland’s health and wellbeing priorities has taken on a new imperative.

Executive Chairman of SHIL, Graham Watson said: “Our five-year strategy comes at a crucial point in the development of the organisation, and in the wider landscape too.

“The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly had a seismic effect on healthcare in Scotland, and we must respond to meet its challenges.

“It is therefore important that SHIL is able to articulate its vision and mission within a busy, ever-changing sector. With almost two decades of experience within health innovation, SHIL has laid the foundations for sustainable growth, efficiency, and meaningful transformation, underpinned by a highly motivated team.

“To that end, our strategy must be fit for purpose for the foreseeable future, providing us with a platform to capitalise on opportunities as they arise. Consultation with a range of stakeholders has been vital in shaping that strategy and we look forward to sharing it fully over the coming months.”

Head of Strategic Development, Elaine Gemmell said: “In order to achieve our mission, we believe that we must develop and expand in line with the healthcare innovation landscape in order to better meet changing and increasing demands and support the sustainable growth of our organisation.

“With that in mind, our strategy will celebrate and inform Scotland’s status as a forward-thinking nation, underlining the country’s aspirations as an ever-growing, collaboration-led entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s united around a shared vision.

We must embody the innovative mindset by considering that strategy to be a living, breathing document that reflects our agility – our ability to react quickly to the demands of a constantly fluctuating healthcare environment.

“Fundamentally, it’s about solving real problems in the NHS and social care, and delivering innovation at scale, while creating jobs and fresh opportunity. “Similarly, the delivery of this strategy must be complemented by continuous horizon-scanning and monitoring of performance. Otherwise, we risk standing still and failing to anticipate the best path of disruption.”

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