Introduction - Our National Ambition
Scotland has a proud heritage in the field of health research. Our previous Strategy set out our ambition of placing Scotland at the international forefront of clinical translational research and the development of systems medicine. That ambition is a reminder of how quickly the research landscape can change, with Precision Medicine and Informatics widely seen as the new areas where we must compete to be globally competitive.
This strategy anticipates a future where outstanding health science research is embedded within health systems as core business, generating new knowledge based upon a myriad of qualitative and quantitative evidence. It anticipates a future where clinical information and samples are integrated with informatics of individual genomes and other 'omic' datasets, eHealth records, imaging datasets, and personal health data to enable individualised therapy, and improved patient outcomes. It anticipates a future where the NHS, patients, universities and business work closely together for mutual benefit.
We already have much to be proud of. Scotland already attracts over 30% more of UK public research funds than our population share would suggest, but we want to do better.
The ambition of this Strategy is therefore to increase the level of high-quality research conducted in Scotland, for the health and financial benefits of our population. The Strategy focuses on four key areas that underpin success in the conduct of current and future research, aimed at supporting research across a vast number of disease areas. Our patients and public rightly expect a focus on their needs as well as the ambitions of our research community. While CSO will continue to support new and promising research modalities, it is essential to the long-term sustainability of our ambitions that opportunities exist for all high-quality research to be supported.
This Strategy identifies four areas critical to our future success:
- Efficient R&D Support for Research
- Partnership with Scottish Patients and the Public
- Targeted Deployment of Resources
- Investing in the Future.
Each of these areas are critical to realising our national ambition. Working in collaboration with others is a theme that already applies across all these areas, and is one that we will build on as we deliver beneficial change over the next five years.
"Scotland's Health Research Strategy reflects the considerable strengths of the medical research community in Scotland. The programme of research activity has generated outstanding outputs over many years, and this new strategy will ensure its continued productivity. Importantly the health science program in Scotland complements that in the rest of the UK, creating a powerful internationally competitive programme."
Professor Sir John Bell - Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford.