More clinical trials will take place in Scotland after it was chosen as a prime site by an international research company.
The country will be promoted globally as a centre of excellence for research by the company Quintiles.
The Scottish Government said that the Prime Site designation would bring significant investment to Scotland and accelerate the development of new medical therapies.
The announcement was made at the inaugural NHS Research Scotland (NRS) conference in Edinburgh.
Lindy Jones, Senior Vice-President of Integrated Site Services at Quintiles, said: "Scotland has a significant burden of disease and there is a huge need to speed the drug development process in order to develop treatments that enable people to live healthier lives.
"We already have a successful track record in joint working in Scotland and we are proud to be working together to further enhance our ability to recruit patients and investigators who are critical to an efficient and effective drug development process."
Speaking at the conference, Health Secretary Alex Neil MSP launched a new research register, which aims to recruit patients to participate in clinical trials.
The Scottish Health Research Register (SHARE) will establish a database of people who are willing to participate in trials, and aims to build up one million registered users within the next five years.
He also announced a second round of NHS Career Researcher Fellowships, which are awarded to outstanding Scottish clinicians to carry out NHS research.
The Scottish Government said that this will invest £1 million per year over the next three years, and builds on the previous 34 fellowships which have already been awarded, bringing the total investment over a four year period to £6 million.