A new collaborative venture to boost clinical research activity in the Tayside region of Scotland has been launched by the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside.

The Tayside Academic Health Sciences Centre is part of the Scottish Academic Health Science Collaboration (SAHSC), launched last year with £10 million of government funding to bring together academic resources at the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow with the NHS research experience of the Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian and Tayside Health Boards.

The aim, as Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon stated at the time, is to form the basis of a “world-leading” platform to attract funds for patient-oriented research. The SAHSC’s remit includes investing in NHS research infrastructure and related information technology capacity, as well as creating a co-ordinated system for contracting and costing research across Scotland.

The Tayside Academic Health Sciences Centre (TAHSC) will build on what is already an “excellent working relationship” between the local health service and the University of Dundee, noted Professor Tony Wells, chief executive of NHS Tayside. The two partners share research expertise in cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, photobiology/dermatology, and infections, inflammation and immunity.

Among the joint facilities that will support the new venture are the Tayside Clinical Research Centre, the Clinical Imaging Centre, the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit, laboratories and biorepositories such as the Tayside Tissue Bank, and Dundee’s Epidemiology and Biostatistics as well as its Health Informatics Centre.

“The University of Dundee and NHS Tayside have long shared in a strong and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Professor John Connell, director of the TAHSC and dean of the University’s School of Medicine.

The TAHSWC launch “will take that a step further and see both institutions working together across the field of clinical research to maximise the potential of the excellent staff and facilities we have here,” he added.