Scotland’s life science ecosystem is stronger than ever and companies at every stage of growth have access to a powerful support mechanism. Here are just five resources available to help life science businesses achieve and sustain high levels of growth.
1. The Innovation Centres
The aim of the Innovation Centres is to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship across Scotland’s key economic sectors, create jobs and grow the economy and each has its own ways of achieving this. Of the eight in Scotland, five directly support the life sciences sector: Stratified Medicine Scotland (SMS-IC), the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), the Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (CENSIS) and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre. In the case of IBioIC, an annual membership gives you access to academic collaborations you might not have considered, scale-up facilities you might not be able to afford and introductions to potential partners and customers you may never have known about.
2. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)
KTP enables companies to leverage their internal funding to form strong collaborative partnerships with innovative UK academics. For Scottish life science SME’s this is particularly relevant as Scotland’s Universities are home to world leading life and medical science departments, providing SMEs with the opportunity to access the wealth of expertise and infrastructure available through these centres of excellence. The structured goal orientated framework has created a 40 year track record of delivering £8 additional GVA for every £1 invested. You can look up local KTP advisors here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/knowledge-transfer-partnerships-what-they-are-and-how-to-apply#scotlandadvisers
3. Scottish Enterprise Programmes
Scottish Enterprise offers such a wealth of business support and advice to help Scottish business achieve their goals, including financial support for feasibility studies, R&D and Innovation that there may be services that will help your SME that you don’t yet know about. The High Growth Ventures Programme, for example, provides enhanced strategy and business planning, financial and mentoring support for selected enterprises and the Scottish Investment Bank’s new Scottish European Growth Co-Investment Programme provides access to high levels of investment from London and Europe. Advice from SE is to simply pick up the phone for a chat at the earliest stages in your planning.
4. Opportunity North East (ONE)
Opportunity North East (ONE) is led and funded by the private sector and its aim in life sciences is to double the size of the company base as part of its mission to strengthen and diversify the economy of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. In addition to the development of bespoke space for the creation ad growth of life sciences businesses, ONE provides sector-specific support programmes for start-ups, spinouts and growing companies in the region including an accelerator programme developed with BioCity and quarterly networking events that are free to attend.
5. BioCity Accelerator
Free to attend, the 12 week BioCity Business Accelerator Programme is designed to give budding entrepreneurs the tools they need to confidently pursue their business idea. The programme begins with the Pre-Accelerator Workshop, which explores the commercial viability of your idea with help from BioCity coaches, mentors and members of their investment team. Delegates then have the opportunity to pitch for one of a limited number of places on the DEVELOP programme and the opportunity to pitch to the BioCity team and investors and be in with a chance to receive up to £100K of further support.
The Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group is working with The Scotsman on the annual conference at the University of Strathclyde on November 12th. Book here