The Campbell Report: a roadmap to investment for health innovation life sciences and healthtech

This Working Group brought together a diverse group of professionals from across the life sciences and healthtech ecosystem, and was chaired by Dr Ian Campbell, Chief Business Officer, LifeArc. Their aim was to explore how to attract increased levels of private investment in the sector in Scotland.


Ian Campbell

I was delighted to be asked by the Scottish Government to work with my colleagues from across the health innovation life science and healthtech ecosystem to look at how we can attract increased levels of private investment. The publishing of Scotland's first Global Capital Investment Plan, Investing with Purpose, and Scotland's Technology Ecosystem Review by Mark Logan – not to mention the health and economic context of the Covid-19 pandemic – means that the opportunity for developing a single, connected and collaborative national cluster to support continued growth has never been greater or more necessary.

Over the past few months, the Investment in Life Sciences Working Group has been collecting evidence and engaging with our colleagues from across the ecosystem. Our aim has been to build consensus around recommendations to help the sector continue to flourish by further enhancing the conditions for investment.

Figure 1: Scope of the Investment in Life Sciences Working Group
Chart with text that describes the breadth of areas considered by the Investment in Life Sciences working group.

Our focus has been on investment for scaling companies, recognising the potential for start-ups and scale-ups to be our engines of innovation and anchors of future industry. In turn, scaling companies also stimulate investment across infrastructure and real estate. To fully understand the investment conditions, we have not only looked at supply of capital, but also demand for capital from Scottish companies and the wider market conditions within our unique ecosystem. There are a number of elements required to create an enabling environment for scaling companies. Building on Scotland's Technology Ecosystem Review, the Working Group has focused on developing a continuum of growth capital for health innovation and healthtech companies and facilitating access to key markets. This includes the market in Scotland – our health and social care services – to help address public health priorities.

As a working group we have set an ambition to become the fastest growing health innovation life science cluster in Europe. We have made 18 recommendations covering different parts of our ecosystem. This will take time; both to deliver on the recommendations and to see the impact of levers shifting and system change. But the opportunity and benefits to our economy and our health and care services are clear.
We are therefore presenting these recommendations to our colleagues across the ecosystem and to the Scottish Government seeking your support to deliver.

I wish to thank the members of the Working Group for their hard work and dedication in developing this roadmap. Colleagues at home and from around the world have furthered our understanding of how we can improve the conditions for investment, and all have given their time and expertise generously. The professionalism and commitment to supporting this work is testament to the supportive, collaborative network that we have in Scotland and what we have to offer internationally.

Recommendations in full

To build a national health innovation life science cluster, facilitate connections between different parts of the ecosystem and promote internationally

We recommend that the Scottish Government and Enterprise Agencies

1. Develop and maintain a digital platform to build connections within and between different parts of the life sciences ecosystem, both in Scotland and internationally.

2. Develop a Net Zero health innovation life science infrastructure and commercial real estate pipeline, building on Scotland's reputation as a world leader in the transition to Net Zero.

3. Develop a health innovation life science prospectus to map out key parts of ecosystem, signpost to innovation and commercialisation collaboration opportunities and points of contact, and clearly set out practical support available.

For building the enabling conditions for life science companies to scale and flourish

We recommend that the Scottish Government and Enterprise Agencies

4. Review and enhance Scottish public sector support for health innovation life science scaling companies, including the grant process.

5. Provide support for Scottish SMEs to access recruiters to attract, recruit and retain international growth management and entrepreneurial talent.

6. Develop and maintain a network of local and international health innovation life science investors (including VC, PE and institutional). This will provide facilitated access to Scottish innovation for investors. For Scottish scaling companies this will provide a network to pitch to, and get feedback from.

We recommend that universities

7. Work together to build on best practice and continue to develop and integrate world-leading entrepreneurial and scaling programmes into the curriculum for life science students.

8. Include industry placement/SME/Startup-working experience for all graduate-level courses to provide more 'Employer-Ready Graduates'.

We recommend that companies

9. Of all sizes and stages, provide placement opportunities working more closely with universities and public sector organisations to facilitate industry and start up experience.

10. At the corporate level, support entrepreneurs to explore start up ideas, and encourage international collaboration of innovation and start up activity through, for example, exchanges between international sites.

For supporting innovation and commercialisation

We recommend that universities

11. Work together, with support from the public sector, to create and maintain a digital online platform for life sciences and health tech/medtech intellectual property (IP) (similar to successful Singapore model) to make IP available digitally and visible globally. The opportunity to include NHS IP on the platform should be considered.

We recommend that the Scottish Government and Enterprise Agencies

12. Test and develop an approach for providing support for Scottish SMEs to access advisors on standards and regulations. This should support access from the initial stages of innovation throughout the commercialisation pathway, up until regulatory approval (for local and key global markets).

13. Develop increased regulatory knowledge within the Scottish public sector in order to better develop policy and support industry.

14. Conduct a review of the life sciences innovation and commercialisation environment in Scotland to explore opportunities for simplifying the process for companies to access domestic and international markets, including the regulatory landscape.

15. Develop and test an approach for greater risk-sharing with investors to drive innovation (eg. innovation vouchers).

We recommend that our health and care services

16. Set out our national priorities for the attention of industrial collaborators. This should include a clear single point of contact through which to initiate discussions on future collaborations, as part of an innovation pathway that extends to procurement as part of a connected national approach.

17. Develop a framework to incentivise and create the conditions to mobilise and adopt innovation across health and care services at all levels. This should maximise the huge potential to our innovation ecosystem and health and care services from making secure data available nationally for the purposes of collaborative research.

We recommend that trade bodies

18. Develop a playbook for key sectors / subsectors to act as a knowledge base on when and how to access Notified Bodies and regulators, and ensure right standards are in place at the right time

I wish to thank Ian and the Working Group for the huge amount of work that has gone into developing these recommendations. As Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group, I have been able to see first-hand the wider support for these recommendations and a shared commitment to deliver on them. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations in detail and ensuring that the Scottish Government is supporting colleagues from across the ecosystem to take these forward as an integrated element of wider Global Capital Investment Plan delivery. Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise and Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group

The Life Sciences sector in Scotland is growing from strength to strength. We have a diversified business sector that encompasses research, development and supply of life science products and services. The investment analysis and recommendations by this group will play a pivotal role in taking the sector to the next level. The recommendations are ambitious and are fully aligned to the mission set out in the Scottish Life Sciences strategy. The Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group are fully committed to supporting the delivery of these key recommendations for the sector. I would like to thank Ian, the team and all the contributors for their valuable inputs. Dave Tudor, Industry Co-Chair for Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group.

Working group member list

Ian Campbell (Chair) - Chief Business Officer, Life Arc

James Blackwood - CTO, iCaird

Graham Watson - Executive Chair, SHIL

Alison Dun - Executive Director, SULSA

Gordon Beattie - Director of National Procurement, NHSS National Services

John Moodie - Innovation & Improvement Lead, National Procurement, NHSS National Services

Andy Keen - Clinical Lead for Innovation, NHS Grampian

Andrew Howie - Head of Health and Wellbeing, Scottish Enterprise

Robert Higginson - Co-Founder and Partner, Par Equity

Sinclair Dunlop - Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Epidarex

Andrew McNeill - Partner, Eos Advisory

Ian Mitchelmore - Senior Manager, UK Network for Scotland, British Business Bank

Jimmy Williamson - Executive Director, Sustainable Investment, Scottish National Investment Bank

Duncan Moore - Partner, East West Capital, and Chair, Scottish Life Sciences Association

Graeme Houston - Clinical Professor Imaging Science and Technology, Dundee University

Debbie Wake - Reader in Medical Informatics and Diabetes Care & Education, Edinburgh University

David Evans - MBA Consultancy

Poonam Malik - Head of Investments, University of Strathclyde

Caroline Barelle - Founder and CEO, Elasmogen

Glenn Corr - COO, TauRx

Ben Panter - Founder and CEO, Blackford Analysis

Deborah O'Neil - CEO, Novabiotics

Paul McGinness - Co-Founder and Director, Storm ID

Directorate for International Trade and Investment, Scottish Government

Directorate for Economic Development, Scottish Government

Scottish Health and Industry Partnership, Scottish Government

I look forward to the next stage of this important work as we turn recommendations into actions for delivery. The development of this report has been led by colleagues from across industry, SMEs, academia and the investor community. Successful delivery is contingent upon continuing to work collaboratively.



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