The life sciences sector in the Highlands and Islands predominantly consists of small enterprises, working in human and animal health, marine biotechnology, natural products, chemical and pharmaceutical sciences and digital technology. The region has particular strengths and opportunites in digital health and wellbeing, and marine biotechnology.
In addition to the more traditional life sciences sector profile a strong network of technology expertise exists across the Highlands and Islands. These businesses are ideally placed to pursue increasing opportunities for the development and deployment of innovative technology solutions and products for the health and wellbeing markets.
The sector typically delivers high levels of innovation with businesses generally international in their outlook and generating above average salaries. Regulatory requirements in the route to commercialisation can often lead to longer periods of research and development which demand specialist financial investment and extended timescales for return on investment.
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Three organisations from across the Highlands and Islands have teamed up in a new collaboration to boost life sciences in the region.
Two more companies have been welcomed on to the European Marine Science Park (EMSP), a development by HIE at Dunstaffnage near Oban.
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building.
HIE has commissioned a study into the potential of seaweed harvesting as a diversification opportunity for fishermen.
A Hebridean life sciences business looks set increase productivity, expand its international market and create more jobs.