I’m excited to see so many things happening in life sciences in Inverness!
Inverness Campus is growing and two new buildings will house even more activity.
But back to basics: Inverness Campus brings together business, academia, research and the NHS in a collaborative environment that helps them to connect and work together. It’s the ideal location for those passionate about advances in healthcare, animal health, active health and medical diagnostics. HIE has led the development of the Campus and it was opened in 2015. I can still remember visiting the site when it was under construction, so it is great to see the vision having become a reality. Across the wider Campus there are hundreds of scientists and clinicians, two universities, 14+ businesses, including one of Scotland’s largest life sciences companies – LifeScan Scotland, two research institutions and a hospital.
But there's much more to come: two new buildings are currently under construction which will result in more space for businesses, research and clinical / healthcare activity from autumn 2022.
The Life Sciences Innovation Centre is a partnership project between HIE and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and the European Regional Development Fund. It will provide space where businesses can work collaboratively with academia on innovative life science projects. They will have access to high-tech research equipment and lab conditions for collaborative research.
We hope that around 190 new jobs will be created and I am already looking for companies who would be interested in moving to the centre.
The building will also allow for university research to link directly with clinicians and their patients, because it is part of a wider project with NHS Highland: the National Treatment Centre (Highland) (NTC). The NTC is an elective care centre for the North of Scotland and will have 24-bed inpatient rooms, five operating theatres, clinics and outpatient departments offering healthcare for bone, muscle and eye conditions (orthopaedics and ophthalmics).
And to give you an idea what types of companies are already located at Inverness Campus, here are two examples.
CorporateHealth International (CHI) offer an innovative service that goes along with a camera in a pill. The video camera capsule is a tried and tested technology, but the CHI service helps to diagnose and inform patient care of colorectal problems such as bowel cancer. The expert team at CHI carry out specialist reading of images from the capsule to save time for the NHS clinicians. This technology has now been successfully rolled out across the NHS in Scotland through the SCOTCAP project and CHI is now working with health boards on remote delivery solutions for Shetland, Skye, the Western Isles and England.
MIME Technologies offer on-board technology for planes and ships, supporting crew to manage medical emergencies. MIME’s innovative technology allows better support for crew who are first on the scene of medical emergencies away from professional medical care. The co-founders have come a long way since taking part in our Pathfinder Accelerator programme back in 2014/15 when they were just in the process of spinning out from Aberdeen University.
So it’s all go on Inverness Campus – but it’s also a green space for all, with a pond and wildflower meadows. I enjoy walking and cycling there – during the week and at the weekend. My triathlon club also uses the Campus for their coached running sessions. And it’s great to watch all the dogs and children enjoy themselves there too. If you’re in the city, I highly recommend a visit and if you're there in the summer keep an eye out for our resident family of swans who welcome new cygnets every year!