A Scottish biotech firm has landed a deal worth up to £7m with NHS Scotland after creating a chemical solution to aid the Covid-19 testing process.
The "breakthrough" approach is said to help make testing turnaround more efficient and improve safety.
The VPSS solution (Viral PCR Sample Solution) was developed by Bonnybridge-based E&O Laboratories.
VPSS is placed in each tube, which is said to make test samples that contain Covid-19 safe within the tube itself.
This means that by the time it is transported to the lab, it is immediately ready for testing.
This streamlines the testing process and means lab technicians do not need to reopen the tubes to apply any pre-testing solution in the lab environment.
The result is an approved solution for production with up to 3.5 million of the new 'VPSS added' test tubes.
An initial quantity of 85,000 units will be distributed across Scotland from this week.
Trade minister Ivan McKee said: "Since the start of this pandemic the Scottish government has supported many Scottish businesses to innovate and alter their production processes, allowing us to be less reliant on global supply chains.
"E&O's work in this area secures a Scottish supplier of a crucial testing chemical that not only streamlines the testing process and supports our national test and protect programme, it will also further improve the safety of lab workers carrying out these essential tests."
Virginia Lucey, Managing Director of E&O said: "Our research and development team worked tirelessly with NHS virology experts to design formulations that will aid reliable testing of Covid-19."