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Who we work with

Supporting health innovation across NHS, academia and industry

NHS Scotland

SHIL is the only organisation set up specifically to work with NHS Scotland on commercialisation activity.

Encouraging ideas and innovations from healthcare professionals and providing a systematic, nationally supported, route for development removes many of the barriers typically associated with innovation – time pressure, lack of relevant commercialisation knowledge, Health Board risk and development expertise. It also supports financial sustainability by generating an income stream to NHS Health Boards through financial returns on commercially successful projects.

Any employee holding an NHS Scotland employment contract, can gain access to SHIL support as part of Service Level Agreements (SLA) held with Health Boards in Scotland. Our nationally supported innovation pathway provides a clear route to develop ideas and innovations and is available to all health professionals, regardless of geographical area or role within NHS Scotland.

If you do not hold an employment contract with NHS Scotland - for example many primary care groups such as GPs and dentists; or locums are service contractors to the NHS, as opposed to employees – SHIL can still provide support. This involves the inventor assigning the rights to their invention to an NHS Health Board, in exchange for a share in any future revenue generated with the support of SHIL from commercialisation of the idea.

These options are explained in more detail below:

This approach allows SHIL to develop and commercialise the invention in the same way as an idea originating within a Health Board. If the IP associated to the idea has been developed to a more advanced stage, rather than assign IP rights to a Health Board, the inventor can retain the IP already created (background IP) and with SHIL’s assistance enter into a legal collaboration with a Board whereby any new (foreground IP) created under the collaboration is jointly owned. In return for assigning these rights, an agreed share of revenue from any successful commercialisation is received by the independent inventor. It is also valuable to know the invention is being developed by experts in the field. 

SHIL works with Health Boards across Scotland and can support collaborative arrangements across NHS Scotland to help develop innovative ideas. Under this model, all rights to background IP would be retained by the independent inventor. Any new (foreground) IP developed as part of an NHS collaboration would be jointly owned by the parties, with a revenue share from any successful collaboration determined under a legally binding agreement.

In each case, SHIL will firstly undertake an evaluation of the idea - this is a robust process designed to identify innovations that will best improve patient care and that have strong commercialisation prospects. If successful, discussion on the potential for assigning rights or developing a collaboration with NHS Scotland will progress. The Health Board to which the idea is assigned will be the one best suited to hold the rights due to relevant experience and clinical expertise, and may not necessarily be the closest geographically. Continued involvement and engagement between all parties is essential throughout this process.

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