We welcome the news that the NIHR has awarded almost £42 million to establish 14 new centres across England to drive life-changing research into health technologies, including three centres in our region.
Patients are set to benefit from access to effective and innovative medical devices, diagnostics and digital technologies as part of the work of the new NIHR HealthTech Research Centres (HRCs) that will come into effect from April 2024 and replace the successful NIHR Medtech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (MIC) scheme.
We are looking forward to building on our collaboration with NIHR teams in our region and support the ambition of the new HRCs through our work with innovators and our NHS partners. The objectives of the new HRCs align with our own work to drive and scale innovations that help address local priorities and improve outcomes for local people. We work closely with our Integrated Care Boards to seek out solutions to address their needs, promoting a culture of innovation and support local NHS workforce development programmes. An example of this is our work to improve asthma care through two innovations under the Accelerated Access Collaborative’s Rapid Uptake Products Programme: Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide testing and Asthma Biologics. In our region we have seen the number of FeNO machines to help diagnose this condition increase from 9 to 199 machines, which resulted in approximately 75,050 tests being completed, benefiting 20,944 asthma sufferers.
Our international work with UK innovators to export their products into the global arena as well as enabling international companies to import their products into Yorkshire actively contributes to transform the region’s economy and further develop the life science industry. An example of this is our digital health accelerator programme, Propel@YH, a six-month structured course of support and advice aimed at supporting SMEs to spread and adopt their solutions and accelerate implementation within the NHS and our most recent international programme, Propel@YH Boot Camp.
Richard Stubbs, CEO of Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber and Chair of The Health Innovation Network, said: “The new NIHR HealthTech Research Centres represent an important step forward in recognising the value of the North as a centre for excellence in developing and scaling HealthTech innovations that meet the needs of our diverse communities and alleviate pressure on our health and care system. Health technologies play a crucial role in supporting our workforce and wider health and care system, enabling people to live healthier better-quality lives.
The HRCs will help enhance the role of the North as a hub of excellence in the life sciences industry, aligning seamlessly with the core theme of our YHealth4Growth campaign, in collaboration with the NHS Confederation and Yorkshire Universities”.
We have a long history of working collaboratively with the region’s NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs), having co-delivered events to identify unmet needs and collaborated on the development of a number of healthcare innovations. To strengthen relationships and collaboration opportunities for innovators, we have previously part funded industry liaison officer posts in the Medtech Co-operatives, an initiative that proved useful in providing end to end pathway support to innovators. In particular in Sheffield, we provided initial funding to the establishment of the TITCH Network (Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health) in 2014, which paved the way for the establishment of the NIHR Children and Young People’s Medtech Co-operative.
If you would like to find out more about how we can work together, take a look at our latest Impact Report or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The HRCs in Yorkshire are:
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – Surgical technologies and rehabilitation
- Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust – Children and young people’s health
- Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Long-term neurological conditions, diabetes, kidney care, women’s health, rehabilitation, mental health