The north-east has an “exciting opportunity” to be at the forefront of drug development, technology and data in UK healthcare, the head of Aberdeen University’s medical school said yesterday.
Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya was speaking at a meeting of the Opportunity North East (One) life sciences network.
Growing the region’s life sciences sector is deemed an economic priority, with One aiming to double the number of companies in and around Aberdeen this decade. Investment has already been secured to deliver the £40 million BioHub project on the Foresterhill Health Campus. It will provide incubator space for new companies, bespoke accommodation for growing businesses, and a range of support services for a growing cluster of life sciences firms in the area.
Prof Bhattacharya said: “Research and innovation carried out in Aberdeen, from the development of the MRI scanner to health data and economics, has changed the way we work in healthcare in the UK and internationally, impacting the lives of millions of people for the better.
“The exciting opportunity now, at a time of unprecedented change in medical science and healthcare, is for our academics, researchers, clinicians and companies, to be at the forefront of drug development, advances in technology and the use of health data to diagnose and treat patients in new ways, and to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.
“We are pulling together as a community to do this, and the commercialisation of our innovation to get it to market will bring significant health and economic benefits.”
One sector board chairman Stephen Logan said: “This region recognises, celebrates and invests in the achievements and potential of its life sciences sector.
“Across the University of Aberdeen, NHS Grampian, Robert Gordon University and our companies, there are people and teams with ideas and research that can transform healthcare.
“The £40m BioHub project that we are leading at Foresterhill, one of Europe’s largest co-located clinical, research and teaching sites, will be transformational for the sector.
“It will drive collaborative innovation, anchor new and established businesses here, and make Aberdeen one of the most exciting life sciences locations in the UK.”