26 June 2020

Cash boost for health and finance research schemes

PROJECTS putting Scotland at the forefront of the fintech and life sciences sectors have been awarded funding of  £146m. 

The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) in Edinburgh and the Living Lab in Glasgow, both of which are Scottish Enterprise partnership projects, are among seven successful schemes for the UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) aimed at supporting local economic growth, backed up by industry funding.

The GOFCoE has received £55m in total, £22.5m from UKRI, which will help enable quality financial services in disadvantaged areas, while the Living Lab has been awarded £91m, £38m from UKRI, to help accelerate the growth of a life sciences cluster in the Govan area of the city.

Scottish Enterprise managing director for economic development Linda Hanna said: “We are seeing right now more than ever just how important the life sciences and digital sectors are for every one of us. This Strength in Places funding announcement is extremely welcome to help Scotland’s efforts to be at the forefront of both.

“The Living Lab, led by University of Glasgow, is conducting cutting edge work in precision medicine. This, together with our recent funding for the Precision Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre on the same site, will benefit patients and the NHS, as well as creating high value jobs.

“The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence sets out to help Scotland maximise the societal benefits of Open Finance, such as enabling quality financial services in disadvantaged areas, at a time when we can see that it is particularly crucial we continue to build our digital capability and our use of data, making our mark on the digital industries.

“Both projects align perfectly with SE’s increasing focus on inclusive growth and tackling inequality.”

The funding round is part of a £186 million UK government investment, backed by a further £230 million from private firms and research institutions.

University of Glasgow Principal, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, said: “Glasgow and Scotland are world-leaders in the field of Precision Medicine – and the new Living Lab will turn our research and innovation excellence into clinical practice, offering an unparalleled opportunity to deliver benefits for patients and savings for the NHS.

“As well as being a game-changer for Precision Medicine in Scotland and the UK, this project will deliver a real impact for the local and national economy.  This is an area of the city synonymous with Glaswegian leadership in heavy industry – and it is deeply exciting that the University is helping to lead the way in reimagining this great industrial legacy for the 21st century.”

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive at FinTech Scotland added: “The news reinforces the value of collaboration between  the diverse range of entrepreneurial enterprises, academics, large institutions, government and citizen groups in embracing the role of data in driving financial innovation to benefit all.

With engagement across Scotland, UK and globally the initiative will further reinforce the inclusive approach in developing the fintech cluster focused on delivering better consumer financial outcomes”

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