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Four Scottish projects have been chosen to prepare final bids for the UK-wide Strength in Places Fund.

UK Research and Innovation will support the shortlisted projects to develop their case for up to £50 million of investment to drive substantial economic growth in particular areas of the country. The bids will be considered before the end of this year.

The University of Strathclyde is leading a proposal to boost a “bio-revolution” in the Central Belt by the development of new biology-based products and platforms.

The University of Glasgow is working on its bid to create a Waterfront Innovation Campus focused on the photonics, optoelectronics and quantum technology industries growing in Glasgow.

A second University of Glasgow-led project could be on track to establish the Living Lab in precision medicine, bringing medical science and innovation excellence into NHS Scotland.

Finally, FinTech Scotland is looking to succeed at the final bid stage with it plan to create a Global Centre of Excellence in Open Banking in Edinburgh.

The Strength in Places Fund is designed to make it possible for regions to tap into the world-class research and innovation carried out in universities across the UK. The fund brings together research organisations, businesses and local leaders, supporting them in working together to create new jobs and build economic prosperity in their areas.

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

“Our clear vision is to ensure we benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Significant support through the Strength in Places Fund will further catalyse economic potential across the country by bringing researchers, industry and regional leadership together to drive sustained growth through world-class research and innovation.”

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

“Competition to be shortlisted was incredibly fierce and there had to be strong evidence that the projects would have a positive impact on their regions.

Scotland has world-leading research in each of its 19 universities and exciting business opportunities to build on, so Scottish-based bids were strong contenders in the process. I am delighted to see these projects making it through to the final stage. The Scottish Funding Council will continue to work hard to support them and I look forward to further good news towards the end of the year.”

The Strength in Places Fund is a UKRI programme in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council, the Office for Students and the higher education funding bodies of Wales and Northern Ireland.