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Scotland's space and life sciences technology experts are at the forefront of global health research - why not join them.

Plans are underway for Scottish Enterprise and the Satellite Applications Catapult to establish a Centre of Excellence for Space and Life Sciences in Scotland at Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The Centre will create a practical space for innovation where healthcare providers, experts from the field of space and life sciences, industry and investment organisations will be able to work together to explore synergies in these fields and leverage technologies to address global healthcare challenges. 

It is expected that this unique concept in healthcare research and development will catalyse significant economic benefits to both Scotland and the wider UK, with a focus on business incubation and growing the small to medium size enterprise industrial base. 

The Satellite Applications Catapult and Scottish Enterprise joint project team has already started defining project criteria. It is expected that remote healthcare provision will be an important early strand which will bring rapid benefits to isolated communities and citizens.

The Centre's presence at the BioQuarter benefits from direct access to the nearby Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine and will also draw on people and organisations from around the UK and develop international relationships.

It will be housed initially in the ‘Nine' multi occupancy facility which already provides a focus for business incubation in the Scottish life sciences industry.

Space and life sciences converge

The Centre will lead in work to design life sciences experiments to accompany the UK's first astronaut, Tim Peake, into space next year.

Julia Brown, director of chemical and life sciences, Scottish Enterprise said:

"Scottish Enterprise has been working closely with the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult to explore the enormous opportunities in the development of space and satellite technologies in the UK.

"The integration of academic and clinical excellence at Edinburgh BioQuarter, supported by Scotland's strong cluster of medical technology and diagnostic and telehealth companies, provides an ideal location for a space and life sciences centre that will address global healthcare challenges – ultimately driving home long-term, sustainable growth for the Scottish economy."

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: 

"Where space and life sciences have come together before now there have been some remarkable success stories. 

"Examples include the design of the artificial heart, advanced scanning technology, digital thermometers and there are many others. We also know that innovation thrives on real physical interaction between people. 

"This is what we are setting out to do: bring together people from the two different but in many ways very similar sectors, in which the UK already has world leading capabilities, to learn and grow from each other. 

"The result could be dramatic, providing significant growth to the UK economy, as well as delivering much needed and timely healthcare solutions to society."

Collaboration opportunities at Edinburgh BioQuarter