24 September 2018

Deputy First Minister meets life sciences’ next generation

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, met some of the young people involved in growing Scotland’s life sciences sector, during a visit to Inverness Campus on Friday 21 September.

Hosted by the Campus developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the visit included a tour of Aurora House, the £2.2m purpose-built life sciences building, which attracted £878,762 funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Mr Swinney saw first-hand some of the ground-breaking collaboration, research and development activity being carried out by companies in the building. He met people from CorporateHealth International, 4c Engineering, Aseptium, OrganLike and Aqua Pharma (see Notes).

With 2018 being Scotland’s Year of Young People, he was specifically introduced to some of the firms’ younger recruits.

Mr Swinney also saw progress with a second building, Solasta House, which is currently under development by Robertson Construction in response to a healthy pipeline of enquiries. The £4.5m building, including £1.4m ERDF funding, will focus on accommodation for technology and life sciences companies.

Commenting on the visit, Mr Swinney said:

“The life sciences sector is making a significant contribution to regional development across the Highlands and Islands and the Inverness Campus cluster is a key part of that. This incredibly diverse sector provides excellent career opportunities for young people and will be crucial in attracting new talent to the region.

“It is extremely encouraging to meet some of the talented young people here today, who are embarking on careers in the Highlands, and to see first-hand some of the impressive activities they are involved in.”

Professor Lorne Crerar, chair of HIE, added:

“We have been developing Inverness Campus with a strong ethos of collaboration between commercial, research and education activities and an emphasis on life sciences. Of equal importance to us is that activities here should benefit communities and economies across the region.

“I am delighted that the Deputy First Minister has been able to see some examples of that today, as well as meeting some of the young people attracted to the region by the opportunities presented by the growth in life sciences and technology.”

John Swinney Aurora House.-3.jpg