A new fund to help pay for stem cell research in Scotland has been launched.
The UK Stem Cell Foundation (UKSF) will aim to raise £5 million over three years to support the work of researchers and clinicians in Scotland into treatments and cures for illnesses including diabetes, strokes, multiple sclerosis, blindness and Alzheimer's disease.
The fund has been backed by Scottish Enterprise which has provided a grant of £300,000. Andrew Henderson, life sciences manager at Scottish Enterprise, said: 'Major opportunities exist for cell therapies in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and liver failure.
'We already have over 20 Scottish companies involved in stem cell activity, and I believe this new fund has the potential to help turn our world-leading science into real commercial success'.
Sir Richard Sykes, chair of the UKSCF, which has already supported a number of stem cell projects in Scotland, said: 'Scotland is home to some of world's leading stem cell researchers and scientists. However, with ongoing pressure on the public purse, it is becoming increasingly difficult to access funding for this exciting area of research.
'We will focus on raising funding for research projects from a range of sources, and would encourage everyone with an interest to get involved'.