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Clinical innovation partnership unveiled at BioWales 2016

1 March 2016

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Cardiff and Vale UHB and Cardiff University work closer on clinical innovation   

A partnership to turn innovative clinical research into cutting edge products and clinical services has been unveiled at BioWales 2016.

The agreement between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff University strengthens a commitment to deliver better patient healthcare and boost the economy in Wales. It aims to accelerate the translation of clinical innovation into improvements in health and clinical services.

Based on a long-standing relationship, the agreement brings both organisations closer to work on a range of challenges including:

  • tackling dementia – exploiting joint academic and clinical expertise across the UHB and the University
  • developing innovative products and services for better health outcomes
  • improving diagnostics linked to precision medicine

Clinical Innovation is not a new concept for Cardiff University and Cardiff & Vale UHB. Both organisations have a strong track record of working together, but the partnership reaffirms a commitment to develop relationships with industry, other UHBs and Government to translate existing research into patient and health economic benefits and identify unmet clinical need.

Supporting Welsh Government’s initiative to develop the life science sector, the partnership aims to increase commercially exploitable intellectual property, stimulate wealth creation and establish Wales as a centre of excellence in clinical innovation.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “Wales already has worldwide reputation for clinical innovation. A stronger commitment to joint working between the University and the Board can only be good news for patients, industry and the wider Welsh economy.”

Cardiff is already a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in a network of hubs to develop precision medicine across the UK. It is one of six centres named last October in the £50m Precision Medicine Catapult project funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government's innovation agency.

Adam Cairns, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “Our focus on clinical innovation in partnership with the University isn’t just based on a shared philosophy. It is underpinned in a number of practical ways – through the appointment of an Assistant Medical Director for Innovation, by linking continuous quality improvement to clinical innovation, and by creating a physical space on the main hospital site where innovative minds can meet to develop great ways of making life better for patients.”

Professor Keith Harding, University Dean for Clinical Innovation and Clinical Lead for Wound Healing C&V UHB, added: “The Partnership will turn research questions into ‘real world’ answers, harnessing ideas from clinicians, academics and students. By working better together, we will develop innovative ways of driving forward clinical care for the benefit of all.”

The centrepiece for future clinical innovation and collaboration will be the MediCentre at Heath Park. Already home to several leading international companies, the MediCentre will act as an incubator for innovative clinical innovation start-ups and spin-outs.

Professor Ian Weeks, Dean of Clinical Innovation, Cardiff University School of Medicine and College of Biomedical and Life Sciences said: “Developing a centre for clinical innovation at Heath Park will create a ‘front door’ where both organisations can work together to achieve common goals. It will establish ‘collision space’ where innovative ways of working can be explored, ideas can be exploited, and where we can advise and support tomorrow’s innovators from academia, NHS or industry.”

Professor Hywel Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Cardiff University, said: “Clinical innovation is a key part of the University’s £300m capital investment. The Partnership will work with the NHS, businesses and other successful institutions within the United Kingdom and internationally to bring wider prosperity to Cardiff, Wales and beyond.”

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