Five companies from the Highlands and Islands have been shortlisted for the prestigious Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences Awards 2015.
The awards recognise the success and achievements of Scotland’s internationally renowned life sciences sector in areas including innovation, investment, community engagement and collaboration.
The Highlands and Islands have particular strengths in digital health, blood diagnostics, and marine and natural products. A general culture of collaboration in the region enables organisations to develop innovative products and services.
The strength of the region’s representation on the shortlist has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) who has worked with all five firms.
James Cameron, HIE’s head of life sciences, said: “I am delighted to see so many high quality finalists from the Highlands and Islands. This reflects the growth in our life sciences sector and underlines the status of the Highlands and Islands as one of Europe’s most successful and competitive regions. The natural assets, the skills and the ambition among people working for and leading these companies combine to provide tremendous economic opportunities which benefit the region and the country. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to provide support for the majority of the finalists in developing the commercial aspects of their initiatives.”
Lewis based BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd has been shortlisted for the Community Engagement category in the awards. The company manufactures omega-3 products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries. Including contractors, it employs 75 people and is part of the world leading chemicals company BASF.
Giles Hamilton (AccuNostics Ltd) of Forres is shortlisted for the Entrepreneurial Business Leadership category. The medical technology company serves diabetes meter and strip manufacturers. It works with leading medical device companies in Asia, US and the EU who distribute globally, and focuses on improving performance of existing products.
Another Forres based company, Tactical Wireless, is shortlisted for the Innovation category. Its product, Omni-Hub, can transmit real time data from remote locations, irrespective of the challenges of poor telecommunications infrastructure or connectivity. This is regarded as a ground breaking solution to the significant rural health problem of providing good quality communication in time critical situations.
Along with the University of Aberdeen, Tactical Wireless is also a finalist in the Innovative Collaboration category. The two organisations have developed the Satellite Ultrasound for Rural Stroke (SURS) project. This aims to achieve stroke diagnosis within the critical period of 4.5 hours of onset regardless of location. Further work is looking at the application of remotely supported ultrasound scanning in a broad range of time-critical medical and surgical emergencies.
Eleanor McFadden, Managing Director of Frontier Science (Scotland) Ltd, based in Kincraig, is nominated in the Business Leadership category. Frontier Science is involved in the design, management and analysis of clinical trials, particularly for cancer.