Awards shine light on the Scottish stars of life sciences

Two new categories have been launched at this year's prestigious Scottish Life Sciences Awards to shine a light on the sector's rising stars.

Scottish Life Sciences award-winners celebrate after the rescheduled event at Glasgow Hilton Hotel. Picture: contributed
Scottish Life Sciences award-winners celebrate after the rescheduled event at Glasgow Hilton Hotel. Picture: contributed

Winners were announced in a ceremony in Glasgow attended by many of the industry’s leading players.

Established in 1999, the awards usually take place annually in February, but bad weather forced this year’s ceremony to be rearranged. The event is now in its 18th year.

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Originally launched by Scottish Enterprise, the awards are now owned and managed by Speakeasy and sponsored by the University of Glasgow and a raft of other leading organisations, including GSK, Concept Life Sciences and Merck BioReliance.

The awards recognise the success and achievements of Scotland’s internationally-renowned life sciences sector over the past 12 months in areas including innovation, investment, business leadership and collaboration. The life sciences sector adds more than £4 billion a year to the Scottish economy, with 700 organisations employing nearly 40,000 people.

Ambitious targets, set by the refreshed Life Sciences Strategy for Scotland in 2017, have aimed to double the size of the sector to £8bn by 2025.

Another event, the Scotsman Life Sciences Conference, is due to take place this November, also in Glasgow. Minister for energy, business and innovation Paul Wheelhouse presented this year’s trophies at the Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel.

He said: “Record investment in the life science sector sends out a clear message that Scotland is an attractive and dynamic place in which to do business. It is therefore always a pleasure to attend these awards and to meet the companies who are helping to shape Scotland’s economic future.”

This year’s winners were: Business Leadership Award – Campbell Grant, founder and chief executive, Sitekit Ltd; Rising Stars Extraordinary Talent – Dr Caroline Barelle, chief executive, Elasmogen Ltd; Innovation Award – Orbital Diagnostics Ltd; Investment of the Year – NuCana plc; Rising Stars: High Growth Company – TC BioPharm; Innovative Collaboration – CorporateHealth International with OpenBrolly in collaboration with NHS Highland and the Digital Health & Care Institute; Outstanding Contribution to the Growth of Life Sciences in Scotland – Hugh Griffith, founder and chief executive, NuCana plc.