RENOWNED globally for shipbuilding in the 20th century, Glasgow can be as successful a world centre for the newest cutting-edge advances in medicine in the 21st century. We could double to 75,000 the well-paid jobs in Scotland’s life sciences industry.

That is one of the messages I will be setting out at a conference today in Glasgow on how we build the city region’s reputation as an economic superpower.

Look at new technologies such as Precision Medicine – whereby patients get personalised medical treatment based on their DNA.

PM is recognised as a way forward in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, liver and kidney failure.

The hope is that, through precision medicine we can predict the risk of diseases in individual patients in conditions like liver failure where Scotland's death rate from chronic liver diseases is 70% higher than in the UK and 60% higher than 30 years ago.

PM is therefore potentially transformational for health care. It is also likely to become a major new global health industry – and Glasgow already has great advantages in the search to become a world centre.

The Living Lab, integrated at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Govan, has brought together partners in medicine and industry to examine how to adopt healthcare innovations into clinical practice.

It is backed up by a Health Innovation Hub with 45,000 sq. feet of office and lab space to accommodate new companies who can expand the Glasgow cluster and add to the 230 companies in Scotland already involved in PM.

Already Glasgow is one of only two main UK centres for medical pathology and it is the main centre for medical imaging.

Glasgow is well-placed to get a head start in this sector.

But one of the key messages I want to set out today is that this kind of cluster of economic activity will not be enough for international competitiveness and to guarantee the thousands of high paid jobs we can create, unless Scotland thinks bigger.

Leadership in life sciences needs not only great local universities and outstanding medical and research expertise which would make us a power in the land, but Glasgow’s planning needs to go deeper, wider and broader if it is to be a global medical superpower: in an area where we are competing with US might and the wider European Union .

It needs to be wider than Scotland to draw upon the biggest pool of capital investing from London in start-ups and growing companies.

It needs to be broader than Scotland to draw on the biggest source of data - the most valuable of which is information from the UK's 65 million health records- and our abiltiy to do trials and test and track on a bigger canvas than anywhere else.

And it needs to be deeper than local collaborations by intensifying cooperation with British universities and global medical institutes.

Superpower status in precious medicine means we have to continuously look outwards.

So, in the case of Precision Medicine, the UK and Scottish governments should come together to create the world's first Precision Medicine Academy that would become a magnet for new teaching and research in the field for medics, scientists and investors from all over the world.

Exactly 175 years ago, Scottish doctor James Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of a substance called chloroform.

Seventy-five years ago, the Scots bacteriologist Alexander Fleming was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery of penicillin, which led to a revolution in antibiotics.

Today, Glasgow and Scotland stand ready to lead a new medical revolution in one of the most advanced areas of modern life sciences – so long as we are prepared to think as big as those great innovators and inventors of Glasgow’s past.

Innovation -and a new high employment life-sciences cluster is one answer to a lost decade in which Glasgow manufacturing employment has fallen to half that of the UK, in which productivity has dropped well below other major cities and, despite having some of the best qualified graduates in the country, wages in Glasgow have fallen behind the UK.

And I believe that this model is a template for Scotland across a range of other sectors.

Our Scottish Future, the think-tank I work with to support a progressive patriotic future for Scotland within the UK, has already charted how in the video game industry - one branch of the new digital sector – we can become a superpower if we draw on the predominantly London-based venture capital and private equity industries.

The same is true of hydrogen, wind and wave, where Scotland can be a superpower in environmental industries if we draw on the wider investment opportunities that comes from a UK-wide financial sector.

In medicine, working on their own Scottish medics can be a power in the land but working in concert with the rest of the UK, Scotland can become a world superpower in one of the most innovative and exciting branches of medicine and the life sciences.

For if we are to create, as is hoped, Scotland’s first globally competitive and home-grown biotech and biopharma company, that will require us to draw on data across the UK, expertise from all over the country, and funds from the British-wide investment community.

The potential for Precision Medicine is vast.  Glasgow can be a world leader, by being part of a wider effort that works for us all.