A West Lothian company is leading the way in developing state-of-the-art prosthetic arms and hands.
Prosthetic technology specialist Össur, based in Livingston, has gained support from Scottish Enterprise to develop new products to add to its range.
The company has received a research and development grant of £400,000 towards a total project of £2million that will support partial hand technologies and enable the development of a new upper limb device.
Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead visited the company’s new 30,000 sq ft site in Livingston to learn how Össur’s prosthetics products enable people to carry out tasks like reaching for a book or a loved one’s hand to hold.
Mr Lochhead met with a user of the prosthetic products and the team of Össur engineers involved in building innovative prosthetic hand solutions.
Andrew Gannon is an artist and ambassador of Össur’s products and has been using prosthetics after being born with a limb difference. He spoke of the difference the i-limb has made to him, saying: “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 as it has reduced pain and damage to my arm and is a great improvement on my previous prosthetics.”
Mr Lochhead said he was fascinated to witness what the company produces. 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 & 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 also offers the prospect of enhancing people’s lives, making it an even more valuable contribution to not just our economy, but our society.”
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