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Accelerate celebrates success

20 March 2023

Baby at birth

A ground-breaking support programme that delivered innovative healthcare projects across Wales has paved the way for future Cardiff University clinical innovations.

Aligned with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and A Healthier Wales, Accelerate was established to facilitate the translational pipeline from the identification of ‘real’ healthcare needs, through to the delivery of evidence-based innovation.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the project enabled collaborations between clinicians, industry, academia and the third sector, led by the Life Sciences Hub Wales and three partner universities.

Cardiff University School of Medicine hosted the Clinical Innovation Accelerator (CIA) within the Clinical Innovation Hub, supported by the Clinical Innovation Partnership between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale Health Board.

Notable Cardiff-led partnerships included ground-breaking ‘green’ and ‘social prescribing’ projects where patients are diverted to outdoor activities to improve mental health and boost wellbeing.

CIA provided expertise in accelerating the delivery of clinically focused innovation through an experienced team of professionals with capabilities derived from academia, project management, research, health economics, engagement, industry, innovation and clinical practice.

Based at the Heath Park Campus on the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) site, CIA generated an impressive record of achievements, including:

  • Supporting 66 Welsh enterprises to deliver 52 projects
  • Attracting co-investment in Research, Development & Innovation:
    • ERDF contribution £9.4M
    • Partner contribution £9.3M
    • Cardiff contribution £4.7M
    • NHS match £1.3M
  • Developing 19 projects involved the NHS including all Health Boards in Wales.
  • Building 165 business-academic clinical collaborations

Professor Ian Weeks, Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, said: “Accelerate has been an outstanding success for Wales, the Life Sciences Hub and Cardiff University. Our Clinical Innovation Accelerator played a major part in enabling the translation of new ideas into real-world clinical and healthcare practices and processes. The early adoption of a user-needs approach to our projects has left a legacy of future sustainability and enhanced pathways to impact.”

Outputs generated from CIA led collaborations are being realised through a range of platform and pilot-based projects, ranging from changes in clinical and sustainable healthcare practices, to the development of artificial intelligence applications, evaluations, and new product development.

The project paves the way for future healthcare innovation, delivering on Welsh government priorities, and supporting lasting impact across life sciences and health and care services in Wales.

Accelerate funding ended in December 2022. A full summary of case studies across Wales can be found here.

For further information about working with Cardiff University on clinical innovation, contact: