A university and life sciences companies are to work together to create new medicines with the award of a £100 million contract.
Companies based at BioCity Scotland in Newhouse, Lanarkshire, and Dundee University scientists will research new drug treatments under the scheme created by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
The IMI is a public-private initiative aimed at speeding up the development of better and safer medicines for patients.
The announcement was made by First Minister Alex Salmond on Thursday, and he said it reinforced Scotland's reputation as "a nation at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs".
Mr Salmond said: "This provides enormous opportunities for Scotland's life sciences sector and is fantastic recognition of the talent and expertise of Scotland's life sciences community.
"In particular, this deal shows the combined strength of our universities and commercial experts. Working together, they have been able to secure the biggest ever IMI contract of its kind in Scotland, putting Lanarkshire and Dundee at the forefront of drug discovery in Europe for many years to come."
BioCity is a large "bioscience incubator", providing facilities, finance and expertise to new science-based companies. The site in Lanarkshire has space for 30 companies and the IMI contract will bring together their work to share the chemical compounds that form the building blocks of new medicines.
BioCity chief executive Dr Glenn Crocker said: "For me, the exciting aspect of this project is the opportunity it provides to discover novel drugs through the collaboration of large pharma companies and an open call to academics and industry across Europe."
Professor Pete Downes, University of Dundee principal, said: "This investment is an excellent indicator of the world-class capabilities in bioscience and drug discovery in Scotland and the UK.
"Dundee's early investment in academic drug discovery is beginning to pay off and I am particularly encouraged by the collaborative effort, brokered by the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance, which has been critical to securing such a significant project."