Plans have been lodged with Highland Council for a new life sciences and innovation centre at Inverness Campus.
The multi-million pound facility is a joint venture between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
The two-storey development – proposed for construction at the south east end of the campus – will house a life sciences innovation centre, developed by UHI following a £9million grant from the UK Government through the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.
It’s hoped the new complex, designed by specialist firm Austin-Smith: Lord, will build on the success of the Centre for Health Science, located in the grounds of Raigmore Hospital and help retain new talent in the north.
Members of the Highland Council’s south planning committee will now be given the opportunity to deliberate over the plans for the first time.
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE’s Inverness Campus project director, said: “We are very pleased to see this project reach the planning stage. Our intention is to create a facility dedicated to the commercialisation of health and life sciences research, and one that supports the continued growth of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
“The new commercial opportunities and high value career options likely to stem from all of this would help attract and retain new talent for the region.”
The centre will bring industry, academia, innovators and entrepreneurs together in a collaborative research environment to inspire, develop new knowledge and inspire solutions in active health and medical nanotechnology.
Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain welcomed the plans.
He said: “I welcome that the plans to build a new life sciences innovation centre are being progressed. The addition of this new centre will strengthen the case for a Highland Medical School in Inverness, which I am campaigning for.”
The plans coincide with NHS Highland’s proposals for an elective care centre on the campus grounds.
Fiona Larg, the University of the Highlands and Islands’ chief operating officer and company secretary, said: “It is exciting to see this collaborative project progress to the planning stage. The development will increase our research in fields such as medical nanotechnology and digital health and will help us to provide greater support to the region’s life sciences sector.
“We hope to create a facility of national significance which will bring economic benefits to our region through innovation, commercialisation, company and job creation and the attraction and retention of talent.”