A Skye life sciences business is reaping the rewards of investing in research and development with the help of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Dunvegan based Gaeltec Devices Ltd received an approval of £331,000 from HIE to employ an R&D manager, develop new products and promote them in domestic and international markets.

As a result, new and innovative medical devices serving niche markets have been developed and launched over the past three years. One of these is a specialised catheter for the treatment of horses with irregular heartbeats. There is a growing global demand for these throughout the veterinary world and Gaeltec is the only company making them.

Gaeltec has also launched the Cuillin Nanologger, named after the famous mountain range on Skye. It is a portable medical device worn by patients to record physiological information for up to 24 hours. It is typically used to assist in the diagnosis of human gastrointestinal and urological disorders.

Complementing Gaeltec’s ongoing commitment to R&D, the company works closely with other medical professionals to improve and enhance its existing products that are used in research, medical and commercial environments.

Gaeltec’s R&D focus has contributed to its long-term viability and enhanced its position as an important employer in this rural community. The company has retained nearly 10 jobs and up to four new posts are anticipated as part of these projects.

Gaeltec is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hertfordshire company Digitimer Ltd. R&D Manager at Gaeltec Devices Ltd Derek Apps said: “Investing in research and development allows us to better understand the marketplace and design products that fill gaps within it. R&D has become a core part of our business that drives product development and generates increased interest.

“HIE’s support has been essential in getting us to where we are today. Their advice in other areas, including intellectual property rights, has also been of great value.” HIE works with ambitious life sciences companies such as Gaeltec to help stimulate innovation and realise their growth aspirations.

Head of Business Growth at HIE, Alison Gainsford said: “Gaeltec Devices Ltd proves location does not limit the scope for technology based companies to expand in rural parts of the Highlands and Islands.

“Life science businesses generally have a positive international outlook and the high quality jobs at Gaeltec are of vital importance to the social and economic sustainability of Dunvegan and the surrounding area.”