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To address limited infrastructure to support the health and life sector in the North West Coast, the Innovation Agency provided investment of £956,000 to support regional partners. This funding, in part, enabled these projects to leverage around £100m additional funding from sources including the NHS, universities, industry, EU and UK Government.
When the Innovation Agency was set up, there was limited infrastructure in the North West Coast region to support early stage companies in the health and life science sectors.
One of the challenges we faced was how to realise return on investment from our commercial programmes. While there are successful science parks including Liverpool Science Park and Sci-Tech Daresbury, there were no obvious health clusters or specialist innovation centres focused on health, life sciences or med-tech.
Such centres are an obvious draw for inward investment, for attracting business to the region and driving economic growth and skills development, while enabling NHS partners to collaborate with industry on solutions to improve care for patients.
Our investment supported and led to the development of the following innovation facilities:
- Health Innovation Campus, University
- of Lancaster, due to open in 2019
- William Duncan Building at University of Liverpool, opened 2016
- Alder Hey Research and Education Centre opened 2015
- Alder Hey Innovation Hub for digital and sensor technologies opened 2016
- Centre for Integrated Health Science, Chester, opened 2015
- Accelerator Hub, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust due to open 2017
- Chorley Digital Park, due to complete 2018
These investments will establish a sustainable regional infrastructure, creating jobs, developing skills and attracting research funding and inward investment over the long term. The potential is now in place to drive significant economic growth to the region and to enable SMEs to play an active role in improving care for our local population.
“By working in partnership with the Innovation Agency, we have been able to significantly advance our vision for Chorley to become a key hub for digital health business growth in the UK.”
Cath Burns, Employment Skills and Business Support Manager, Chorley Borough Council.
“Making innovation in the NHS actually happen instead of just talking about it, the Innovation Agency are a breath of fresh air. Injecting some real pace into the system, they have rocket-fuelled our projects. With backers like this we couldn’t fail.”
Mr Iain Hennessy, consultant surgeon, Clinical Director of Innovation at Alder Hey
The influence of the Innovation Agency has helped to secure around £100m investment into the North West Coast region through these projects.
For large, capital projects such as The Accelerator at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals, Liverpool’s William Duncan Building and the Institute in the Park at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, our funding was used as part of the match required to secure significant EU funding.
With the Innovation Hub at Alder Hey we funded the development of a 1000sqm space which enabled the Trust to leverage ‘in kind’ contributions from developers and industry partners. The centre is now open and has hosted hackathons, supported by the Innovation Agency, to develop ideas with local SMEs and academics to address problems faced by the staff.
Funding of £25,000, matched by Chorley Council, led to a proposal to develop a digital campus that will house smart homes and an SME incubation centre which secured £4.1m ERDF funding matched by Chorley Council.
Our funding was used to refurbish an unused Chester University building on the Countess of Chester Trust site. This is now the Centre for Integrated Healthcare Science and a collaborative innovation space for NHS, academic and industry partners.
For Lancaster University our support funded an Entrepreneur in Residence post to provide dedicated resource to develop the business plans for the £41m Health Innovation Campus.