These reflect the strong collaborations between industry, academia and the NHS, as well as the regions strengths in digital health, diagnostics and marine and natural products .
The awards, which will be held on 28 February in Glasgow, recognise the success and achievements of Scotland’s internationally renowned life sciences sector in areas including innovation, business leadership, investment and collaboration.
Two projects from the region have been shortlisted in the Innovative Collaboration category, including for the first time one led by a social enterprise. Albyn Housing is leading on the FitHomes project, which also involves NHS Highland and Invergordon based Carbon Dynamic, which designs and manufactures timber modular buildings.
Fit Homes will be equipped with sensors to collect health data that can be monitored and responded to by a variety of agencies. The homes will be sustainable, affordable, highly adaptable and technology enabled; meeting residents’ needs at all stages of life and, crucially, supporting independent living at home for longer.
A collaboration between CorporateHealth International, the Danish life sciences firm based on Inverness Campus, software company OpenBrolly, NHS Highland and the Digital Healthcare Institute is shortlisted in the same category.
They have pioneered SCOTCAP to provide a point of care investigation of the lower gastrointestinal tract using minimally invasive colon capsule endoscopy. This can be done through local GPs and avoids the need for patients to travel considerable distances to Inverness from rural communities around the region.
Two entrepreneurs have been shortlisted in the Business Leadership category.
Campbell Grant is founder and CEO of Skye based technology firm Sitekit. He started the company in 1989 and since 2009 it has specialised in the healthcare sector. Sitekit is currently leading the development of the eRedbook, an innovative digital application that allows clinicians and parents to monitor a child’s health and development.
Helen Erwood, chief executive of ESPL Regulatory Consulting in Shetland, is also shortlisted. With offices in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland, ESPL provides European Regulatory Affairs consultancy, training, procedural and submissions support to the pharmaceutical industry.
The region’s representation on the shortlist has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
James Cameron, HIE’s head of life sciences, said: “We are delighted to see high quality finalists from the Highlands and Islands. The natural assets, the skills and the ambition among people working for and leading these companies and projects combine to provide tremendous economic opportunities which benefit the region and the country.
“It is particularly encouraging to see a social enterprise compete with business-led entries. The social economy in the Highlands and Islands is proportionately greater than other parts of the country and plays an important role in addressing many social issues relating to, for example, the geography of the region.
“We are pleased to have been able to provide support for our region’s finalists and wish them every success on the night of the awards in February.”