The announcement was made by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson as part of the 3rd wave of the Science and Innovation Audits, which are designed to emphasise the value of greater collaboration and further innovation.
Precision medicine is an approach which enables doctors and researchers to identify and develop treatments that are ‘precise’, that is effective for specific groups of patients. It is widely expected that precision medicine will have a disruptive effect on future healthcare, with significant benefit to patients but also economic benefit for the NHS.
The Precision Medicine in Scotland consortia will undertake a Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) to map Scotland’s research, innovation and infrastructure strengths in precision medicine to help identify the opportunities for inward investment and regional growth.
The aim of the consortia is to position Scotland as one of the best places in the world to develop and deliver precision medicine and build international collaborations at scale.
The University of Glasgow-led consortia includes over 20 consortium partners across the triple helix of industry, academia and the NHS.
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Vice Principal & Head of College of MVLS said: “The University of Glasgow is delighted to be leading this important Science & Innovation Audit. Scotland has significant strengths in precision medicine, including the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, located at the University’s Clinical Innovation Zone at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
“Working with our consortium partners, the audit will enable us to assess current assets and capabilities, identify gaps and synergies and drive greater engagement with Scotland’s extensive industry-base. The audit will provide a resource which can be shared and utilised across the whole of the UK, to ensure that the UK maintains its momentum and leadership in this crucial area of health innovation, and delivers economic benefit for both Scotland and the UK.”
Dr David Sibbald, Chair of the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre, said “To undertake world-class life sciences innovation, links between research and innovation organisations and businesses need to be forged and strengthened, and we need to have a robust evidence base to underpin future investment decisions.
“The audit will provide a vital resource for the Innovation Centre and all the consortium partners in Scotland who are actively engaged in delivering high-quality collaborative innovation in precision medicine.”
Dr Carol Clugston, COO of the College of MVLS said: “We are delighted to be chosen to undertake a Science and Innovation Audit and lead the consortia on behalf of our many expert partners across Scotland.
“Our objective for the SIA is to provide a deeper, evidence-based understanding of how best to harness Scotland’s strengths and investments in precision medicine to generate sustainable economic growth for Scotland and the UK.
“Ultimately, our vision is for Scotland to become a global centre of excellence for precision medicine, capitalising on past investment and existing collaboration to attract international business investment and drive an early competitive advantage to deliver economic benefit for Scotland and the UK.”
Jo Johnson, Universities and Science Minister, said: “Now in its third wave, the Science and Innovation Audits are providing valuable insight into the ground-breaking work taking place across the UK and the contributions we are making to solve challenges across the world.
“The work of the successful regions undertaking their SIA in this wave will support the development and delivery of our Industrial Strategy and allow local places to build on their strengths. This will ensure that the UK remains competitive in the global market and is best placed to continue leading scientific discoveries and taking them to market.”
Linda Hanna, managing director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “I want to congratulate the University of Glasgow on securing this excellent opportunity. The global precision medicine market is expected to be worth almost $88 billion by 2023, with Scotland well positioned to take advantage due to our world-class academic excellence, our strong collaboration and the growing number of inward investors choosing Scotland as a location for their life sciences businesses.
“Scotland is well represented in the two previous waves of Science and Innovation Audits, demonstrating our global capabilities in enabling technologies, software and data analysis and offshore renewable energy. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver this valuable tool to develop Scotland’s economy.”