Scotland is to strengthen its reputation in life sciences after the announcement of a global centre of excellence in West Lothian.
US clinical research company Q2 Solutions has announced a multi-million-pound inward investment at its Livingston campus, creating 156 skilled jobs over the next three years.
Supported by a £3.8-million Scottish Enterprise grant, Q2 will establish a centre of excellence in flow cytometry and genomics testing and analysis, enabling it to offer an increased range of services.
The multi-million-pound research and development project will help “anchor” the firm’s operations in Scotland and sits alongside an ongoing £17-million infrastructure expansion project at the campus, where the company already employs more than 950 people.
Commenting on the news, Elaine Lowey, Q2 Solutions’ General Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “I am delighted to lead such a momentous undertaking.
“Expanding our European operations in key technical areas supporting the development of new precision medications adds significant value to our global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.
“We are delighted to be working with Scottish Enterprise in this venture and look forward to the job creation this will bring in our new state-of-the-art facility.”
The announcement follows news that Scotland was the most popular UK location outside London for inward investment in 2020, for the sixth successive year, according to the EY 2021 Scotland Attractiveness Survey.
Scotland attracted more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) despite challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the report, Scotland saw 107 FDI projects in 2020, a 6% rise compared to 2019’s 101 projects.
Economy Secretary Kate Forbes added: “This is excellent news for a business which has received Scottish Government support.
“Q2 Solutions already has a significant presence in Livingston and this important project will create more high-quality jobs and further underlines Scotland’s position as a global player in precision medicine.
“The Scottish Government has worked closely with the company and continues to support the sector following our significant investment in major clinical and research assets such as the Precision Medicines Scotland Innovation Centre.”
Forbes continued: “Inward investment has a huge role to play in Scotland’s economic transformation. Our skilled workforce, research facilities and supportive investment culture are highly attractive to foreign companies.
“The Scottish Government is building on that success with an inward investment strategy which focuses on sectors that can deliver high-quality jobs and future growth, including health innovation.”
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Scottish Enterprise Director of Global Investment Mark Hallan said: “The company’s proposals for Scotland are incredibly exciting and exactly the type of project Scottish Enterprise aims to support as we look towards economic recovery.
“Scotland has one of the largest life sciences clusters in Europe, with a number of global companies already benefiting from the quality of our workforce. Q2 Solutions’ decision to locate this global centre of excellence at its Livingston site will only bolster our international reputation in this sector.
“Scottish Enterprise is delighted to have secured this opportunity for Scotland.”