Artificial limb pioneer gets boost for £2 million project to develop life-changing products
Össur, which is based in Livingston, received the research and development grant of £400,000 from Scottish Enterprise, aiding a project that will support partial hand technologies and enable the development of a new upper limb device. The firm’s vice president of research and development upper limb prosthetics, Hugh Gill, said: “This grant allows additional engineers to join Össur to continue developing unique products supporting individuals to live ‘Life Without Limitations’ as is our motto.”
Scottish innovation minister Richard Lochhead visited the company’s new 30,000-square-foot site in Livingston to learn how its prosthetics products enable people to carry out tasks such as reaching for a book or a loved one’s hand to hold. He said: “I welcome the latest investment by Össur, on behalf of Touch Bionics, at its Livingston facility and its ongoing partnership with Scottish Enterprise, who have provided research and development funding for the project.
“Our national innovation strategy places a strong focus on technologies where we can be demonstrably world leading, with healthtech being a key target. But as well as this being positive news for the local economy and an important step for Scotland’s innovation sector, this project offers the prospect of enhancing people’s lives, making it an even more valuable contribution to not just our economy, but our society.”
Andrew Gannon is an artist and ambassador of the firm’s products who is based in Edinburgh and has been using prosthetics after being born with a limb difference. He said: “I have used prosthetics practically my whole life and when my prosthetist asked me to try out the i-limb at first I had no expectations. However, it became very apparent in the first few hours of using it that I was never going back.”
Scottish Enterprise managing director of innovation and investment Jane Martin added: “Scottish Enterprise has supported the company over many years from its early days as a University of Edinburgh spinout. Össur’s plans to further develop a range of prosthetic hand solutions to improve the mobility of people across the world is truly inspirational.”