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HEALTH


SHIL’s new strategy presents a clear vision for an entrepreneurial Scotland where healthcare innovation thrives


Scottish Health Innovations Ltd’s bold five-year plan aims to optimise true potential of skills and expertise


Driven by ambition


BY GRAHAM WATSON


We continue to live in exceptionally challenging times – but, of course, with challenges also come opportunities. While the Covid-19 pandemic


has undoubtedly stretched health- care services to their limit, it has also globally inspired innovation at unprecedented speed thanks to an incredible spirit of collabo- ration focussed on solving real world problems and saving lives.


How we continue to drive in-


novation, stimulate transformation and emerge stronger are vital areas of focus – and the impetus for the bold new five-year strategy of Scot- tish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) – but this goes beyond Covid-19. Modern health requirements


now demand an entirely different approach to care – people are liv- ing longer, lifestyles are changing, and mental health is considered just as important as physical health.


18 | FUTURESCOT | SPRING 2021


At the same time, medical ad-


vances continue to tackle a range of increasingly complex health issues, and the acceleration of ge- nomic and personalised medicine provides opportunity for more targeted treatments. Digital health has also grown


exponentially, offering new approaches to the way care is or- ganised, delivered and monitored; and technology has, and contin- ues to, transform how individuals and organisations engage with and between each other.


Despite this rapidly changing world, the importance of promot- ing and supporting healthcare in- novation has never been clearer; and SHIL has a critical role to play as we look to the future. Over the last two decades, we


have worked in close partnership with, and continually evolved to meet the needs of the NHS in Scotland. We hold a unique and valued position in protecting and supporting NHS-initiated and NHS-supported ideas; but this pivotal moment in health and so- cial care presented an appropriate time to reflect, consider progress and next steps.


An extensive consultation


exercise with valuable input from stakeholders across the innova- tion community, combined with the expertise and ambition of the team at SHIL, has led to a bold new strategy to 2026. It presents a clear vision for an


entrepreneurial Scotland where healthcare innovation thrives. Our role remains to inspire, acceler- ate, and commercialise impactful healthcare innovations for health, economic and social benefit. A solid track record exists al-


ready. Over 2,000 innovative ideas have been submitted to SHIL by healthcare professionals across the spectrum of disease and medical backgrounds. A successful SHIL- supported portfolio of medical devices, products and technologies is in use internationally across hospital and care settings. We have formed seven new


spin-out companies, negotiated 25 commercial license deals with companies both in the UK and internationally, and protected the intellectual property, trademark, copyright and design rights for more than 250 NHS inventions. SHIL has helped hone a wide range of highly effective devices


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