The burgeoning life sciences and health technology sector is “hugely important” for Scotland’s economy and is one of the industries of the future, said Ivan McKee MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation.
“It’s a significant part of the economy already but it’s growing very fast,” he told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts.
Because the industry serves international markets it supports the Scottish government’s ambition to increase exports while creating high value jobs.
The University of Glasgow’s Living Laboratory is an example of the initiatives that the government is encouraging. It is, “one of those areas where Scotland has genuine global strengths in research and development and the ability to apply that through our business community,” McKee said.
Providing the right infrastructure for such activities is crucial: “Government is working with industry to help understand where we should focus our resources,” McKee said. He added that alignment between the business community, inward investors, governmental agencies, the NHS and universities is essential so that everybody is working with a common purpose.
Private sector investment capital is an important component and he added that Scotland is already leading the rest of the UK in terms of attracting inward investment but wants to double down to bring in more businesses that can “really contribute”.
“We’re doing everything we can to make that journey for investors as straightforward as possible, making sure they understand what Scotland has to offer, making their ability to connect with those businesses as easy as possible,” McKee said.
Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.