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Scottish innovation projects win £60.5 million share of UK funding challenge

Scottish innovation projects win £60.5 million share of UK funding challenge

26 Jun 2020

Two projects backed by Scottish universities have been successful in a UK wide competition for research and innovation funding. The investments are designed to support economic impact and regional growth.

Following today’s funding announcement, the University of Glasgow will receive £38million to create the Precision Medicine Living Lab, bringing cutting-edge science and innovation into a real-world medical environment. And in Edinburgh the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence has been awarded £22.5 million. The concept was developed into a winning bid by the University of Edinburgh, FinTech Scotland and the Financial Data and Technology Association.

The money will come from UK Research and Innovation’s £186 million Strength in Places Fund which recognises the importance of science, research, innovation and skills in creating jobs and prosperity for the future. Twenty three UK projects were scrutinised by the panel before the funding allocation was announced. In selecting seven successful bids, the assessment panel looked for proposals with benefits across the whole of society.

Led by the scientists who recently set up the Lighthouse Lab COVID-19 testing facility, the Precision Medicine Living Lab will be located close to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus in Govan. It is projected to provide 446 jobs and £136 million of added economic value to the region in the next eight years. Its work will be concerned with tailoring medical treatments to individual characteristics and will focus on precise diagnostics, imaging, genomics and artificial intelligence.

Once established, the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence will support technological innovation in financial services and provide research to help policymakers understand the economic and social impact of future financial decisions.

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Scottish universities responded creatively and energetically to the opportunity presented by the Strength in Places Fund. It’s excellent news that two Scottish projects have been successful in their bids. Both projects have been developed to create benefits that will reach far beyond their host universities and into regional economies and wider society.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:

"UK Research and Innovation funding through the Strength in Places Fund will bring researchers, industry and local leadership together in outstanding collaborative programmes that will catalyse regional excellence and economic growth across the UK."