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£9.53 million invested in new Highland home for worldwide diabetes research

By SPP Reporter

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Inverness is to be the new home for all diabetes research and development into blood glucose monitoring carried out worldwide by international company LifeScan.

The £9.53m pounds sterling project – including up to £2.85m public investment will create 19 new jobs and support many more.

It will anchor 1,100 others at LifeScan Scotland, which is already Scotland’s largest life sciences company.

First Minister Alex Salmond made the announcement during a visit to the North American commercial headquarters of LifeScan in Milpitas, California and with a live link-up to the company’s Inverness research and development centre.

LifeScan is a world leader in blood glucose monitoring and is one of the biggest private employers in the Highlands and Islands.

Their main product range includes the OneTouch blood glucose monitoring products and the company intends to continue to develop advanced solutions to meet the needs of people with diabetes.

The First Minister said: “This is a memorable day for life sciences in Scotland. We are already at the forefront of diabetes research and this commitment to LifeScan in Inverness is a further demonstration of the fact that this Highlands base will continue to be a leader in cutting-edge research.

“The research and development money will create new highly-skilled, well-paid jobs and will build on Scotland’s reputation for supporting economic growth and innovation.”

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE, said: “Millions of people across the world rely on the products developed by LifeScan in Inverness. HIE is delighted to have worked with the company over many years as it has developed its research hub in the region.

“The decision to have the diabetes research and development effort in our region, attracting staff from across the world, is a resounding vote of confidence in our capabilities in the life sciences sector.”

Tito Bacarese-Hamilton, R&D Vice President of LifeScan for Blood Glucose Monitoring, underlined the company’s commitment to the Highlands and Islands. He said:

“We are enormously grateful for this grant, which builds on the strong partnership that we already have with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

It will allow us to get innovation to the market place sooner and also contribute further to the prosperity of the Highlands.”

The First Minister is on a four-day visit to the US to strengthen economic and tourism links.

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