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Cardiff students to showcase healthcare ideas

21 November 2022

Cardiff students without healthcare backgrounds, but with bright ideas for better healthcare, are being invited to join a clinical innovation programme.

The Learn 2 Innovate programme is looking for business, computer science, data science and engineering students to help develop tomorrow’s clinical solutions.

Participants, who need to fill in an application form, get to share their clinical innovations at an end-of-year showcase event with the winners taking away a £1000 monetary prize to bring their innovative idea to life.

After spending the year on the Learn 2 Innovate programme, students from various degrees including healthcare, computer science and medical engineering went head-to-head to pitch their ideas in front of an expert panel of judges over the summer.

The winner of the Learn 2 Innovate Student Innovator Award prize for the Cross-University Collaborative Innovation Task went to Under Pressure, a team led by Frank Davis, a fourth-year medical student from Cardiff.

Frank said: “The Learn 2 Innovate programme has been exceptional all year round. We have received interesting and informative lectures throughout the year from small start-ups to huge medical technology business people.

“It was organised brilliantly, and I know I speak on behalf of the whole cohort when I say we all felt extremely grateful and inspired to be able to listen and pick the brains of extremely influential people.

“Every group produced a thought-provoking and innovative idea which shows incredible and consistent engagement every student had in this programme. My group were honoured to be named the winners and being involved in this programme has given us the confidence to continue to pursue the development of our innovation idea. A huge thank you to Alexander Coombs for creating and rolling out this programme”.

The Learn 2 Innovate programme was established by then Cardiff medical student Alexander Coombs after finishing his degree at Imperial College London.

“Whilst studying at imperial I was fortunate to be exposed to healthcare innovation from studying my surgical innovation degree to being part of a team making a contact tracing app. There were lots of opportunities for Imperial students and I wanted to bring that exposure back to Cardiff.

“I founded the Learn 2 Innovate programme, a one-year multidisciplinary programme which aims to inspire and support students to become future innovators in healthcare. We have been extremely fortunate with the calibre of speakers and mentors on the programme, and our successful first year is owed to our students and our very supportive partners, the INSPIRE team and the University's Clinical Innovation Hub.”

Panel judge Dr Fiona Brennan, a consultant anaesthetist with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “Clinical innovation has a key role to play in the modernisation and future development of the NHS. As a member of the Green Health Wales Team, I am keen to champion innovative healthcare, and today’s showcase was a masterclass on how to devise, develop and deliver outstanding new ideas.”

The panel included Barbara Coles, Project Manager, Accelerate Wales; Professor Keith Harding, former Dean of Clinical Innovation, Cardiff University; Professor Jonathon Gray, Director of Innovation and Improvement, CAVUHB; and Dr Avi Mehra, Co-Founder, Doctorpreneurs.

For further details about Learn 2 Innovate, contact:

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