New centres are to be launched at the University of Edinburgh to pioneer fair financial services and University of Glasgow to put scientific research into clinical practice with a total of £146 million in funding.

The Glasgow project is expected to create 446 jobs.

They are among seven research and innovation projects across the UK sharing £186 million in government funding from UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund (SIPF). This is expected to unlock £230 million more from other sources including industry.

The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh will receive £55 million, including £23 million from SIPF.

It will aim to develop technology and education to deliver social and economic benefits through financial services. This will include how best to use Open Finance, the sharing of consenting customers’ data between different financial businesses.

The university will partner with the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and Fintech Scotland and draw on expertise from academia, financial services and fintech businesses.

The Living Laboratory at the University of Glasgow’s Precision Medicine Living Lab will set out to bring new science and innovation to a real-world clinical setting. It will receive £91 million including SIPF investment of £38 million. 

Based next to the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, it will foster cross-sector collaborations to exploit research for the benefit of patients. It is expected to deliver 446 high-value jobs and £136 million GVA over an eight-year period.

The University of Glasgow will be partnered by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd, Siemens Healthcare Ltd, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, Bioclavis, Aridhia, MR Coiltech Ltd, Glasgow Science Centre, Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, Kadans Science Partner UK Ltd, Precision Medicine Scotland and iCAIRD Ltd.

Businesses and universities in Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool and Kent will also be given support for projects such as zero-emissions technology for maritime vessels, smart-packaging to cut food waste and new health products to combat infections.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s announcement will ensure some of our country’s most promising R&D projects get the investment they need to take off and thrive.

“Working with the private sector and our world-class universities, we’re backing new and innovative ideas that will create jobs and boost skills in every part of the UK for years to come.”

Colin Hewitt of Edinburgh fintech Float welcomed the news: “This funding will do great things for Edinburgh’s already excellent fintech scene. We have a well-established financial sector and a thriving start-up culture, with plenty of cross-over between the two.

“It’s why fintech is booming here and it’s no surprise to hear Scottish accents at fintech events wherever you are in the world, despite being such a small country. The UK government has been extremely supportive of this community, and it’s continued financial support makes a real difference.”