Scottish university has struck a deal to advance medical research at its campuses around the world

Heriot-Watt University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), the UK's leading industry association for health technology. 

The agreement is aimed at fostering closer collaboration between the 150 academics based at the university's new Global Research Institute in Health and Care Technologies and ABHI members, who supply a range of healthcare products ranging from syringes and wound dressings to surgical robots, diagnostics and digitally enhanced technologies.


The ABHI represents small and medium-sized medical technology companies as well as multinationals to stakeholders, such as the government, NHS and regulators.

Experts at Heriot-Watt's new Global Research Institute in Health and Care Technologies - which has campuses in Scotland, Dubai, and Malaysia - are working to turn cutting-edge research into impactful and practical solutions for patients, the NHS and health and care globally.

The aim of the MoU is to increase the profile of Heriot-Watt as a hub of academic excellence.

The university said the collaboration will take a "triple helix" approach, engaging academia, health systems, and industry partners throughout Scotland and the UK.

They want to better understand the challenges innovators face in health-tech research and commercialisation, as well as developing ways to overcome these obstacles through supported processes and policy lobbying.

Steve McLaughlin, Vice Principal and Provost at Heriot-Watt University said: “This collaboration is an important step in advancing our global research in health and care technology solutions.

"We will work together to co-develop research, address regulation, enhance data and insight, while meticulously championing patient privacy and protection.

“The ABHI provides valuable insights into market trends and cross-territory landscapes.

"By leveraging our combined international connections, we aim to support innovators in accessing global markets and attracting foreign investments to Scotland.

“The mission of our new Global Research Institute in Health and Care Technologies is to collaborate closely with industry and sector partners to deliver innovative, sustainable, and practical solutions to global health challenges.

"This MoU exemplifies the kind of collaborative approach we want to promote.”

Medical technology is a huge part of the life sciences sectorMedical technology is a huge part of the life sciences sector

The ABHI recently unveiled its manifesto, The Plan for HealthTech, which articulates a clear and actionable 10-point programme for government.

This strategic blueprint is designed to harness the full potential of the sector to benefit patients, clinicians, and the UK economy.

Peter Ellingworth, chief executive, ABHI, said: "Scotland boasts some of the world’s finest universities, and institutions like Heriot-Watt continue to excel across key disciplines like engineering and life sciences, as well as burgeoning areas like quantum technology.

"Growing health-tech credentials, like the Medical Device Manufacturing Centre, are helping to translate academic capabilities into health-tech solutions, and ABHI is well placed to aid in accelerating this journey.

“By fostering such collaborations, we can drive sustainable innovation, enhance patient care, support economic growth, and ensure that groundbreaking technologies reach the market more efficiently.”