InnoScot Health’s first spinout receives six-figure investment from Scottish Enterprise
InnoScot Health’s first spinout success has received a six-figure grant from Scottish Enterprise to create the next generation of prosthetics.
Formerly prosthetic technologies firm Touch Bionics before being taken over in 2016, Össur will use the research and development grant of £400,000 to extend its range of innovative upper limb solutions at its new 30,000 square foot facility in Livingston.
Touch Bionics – a 2002 spinout of NHS Lothian and InnoScot Health and the first company to develop an electrically powered prosthetic hand with five independently powered fingers – was bought by Icelandic firm Össur for £27.5 million, allowing the Reykjavik-based global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics to enter the upper limb prosthetic market.
Executive Chair of InnoScot Health, Graham Watson said: “It is fantastic to see our very first spinout from over two decades ago continuing to go from strength to strength.
“Having successfully exited in 2016, it is further pleasing to see the ongoing commitment of Össur to the Scottish economy, recognising and investing in the world-leading innovation capabilities that we saw in Touch Bionics, creating jobs while improving clinical outcomes and quality of life for users across the country with many of the bespoke products supplied through the NHS.
“The great work done in Livingston remains life-changing for so many and at the forefront of prosthetic technology, as the new grant from Scottish Enterprise amply demonstrates, and we’re proud to have been part of that story.”
Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead visited the company’s new site in Livingston last week and said: “I welcome the latest investment by Össur, on behalf of Touch Bionics, at its Livingston facility and its ongoing partnership with Scottish Enterprise, who have provided research and development funding for the project.
“Our National Innovation Strategy places a strong focus on technologies where we can be demonstrably world leading, with Healthtech being a key target.
“But as well as this being positive news for the local economy and an important step for Scotland’s innovation sector, this project also offers the prospect of enhancing people’s lives, making it an even more valuable contribution to not just our economy, but our society.”
Scottish Enterprise first co-invested in Touch Bionics in 2004 alongside long-standing Scottish Co-investment Fund partner Archangel Investors Limited.
Scottish Enterprise managing director of innovation and investment Jane Martin said: “Scottish Enterprise has supported the company over many years from its early days as a spinout. Össur’s plans to further develop a range of prosthetic hand solutions to improve the mobility of people across the world is truly inspirational and is also a great example of how an acquisition can boost business growth in Scotland.
“Össur’s investment and next-level product development highlights how purpose-driven companies can transform lives, grow our economy, and Scotland’s international reputation as a place to innovate and scale your business.”
Össur vice president of R&D upper limb prosthetics Hugh Gill said: “This grant allows additional engineers to join Össur to continue developing unique products supporting individuals to live ‘Life Without Limitations’ as is our motto. We are delighted with the support we have had from Scottish Enterprise on our journey to improve people’s mobility."
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