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Clinical Innovation Accelerator


Accelerate is a ground-breaking support programme aligned with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and A Healthier Wales. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government; it focuses on the delivery of innovative healthcare solutions pan Wales.

Accelerate was established to facilitate the translational pipeline from the identification of ‘real’ healthcare needs, through to the delivery of evidence-based innovation. This is being enabled by collaborations between clinicians, industry, academia and the third sector, and is led by the Life Sciences Hub Wales and three partner universities across Wales.

Here within Cardiff University, the School of Medicine plays host to one of the Accelerate partners; the Clinical Innovation Accelerator (CIA). The CIA sits within the Clinical Innovation Hub and is supported by the Clinical Innovation Partnership between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale Health Board.


CIA provides 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. Close working relationships with academic experts, NHS Health Boards, and industrial partners, enables new ideas to be focused into real world clinical/ healthcare practices and procedures, aided through a user-centric delivery model. Adopting a user-needs approach to building projects underpins the likelihood of future sustainability and enhances the 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. An array of data is being generated which may inform research-driven innovation beyond the initial projects. This includes an abundance of increasingly important real–world data, including patient-reported outcome and experience measures.

COVID Response

In the current COVID crisis, the CIA is demonstrating its situational relevance and responsiveness by contributing to the essential COVID work being delivered through Cardiff University’s category 3 laboratory. This is being actioned via the support for research associates to undertake this time sensitive work within Cardiff’s dedicated facilities.

CIA are supporting around 15 different COVID focused projects, including those undertaken outside of the lab environment. This includes technology-based applications such as the use of medical devices and virtual reality systems.

The close partnership will help develop innovative ways of driving forward aspects of clinical care that benefit patients throughout Wales.

Professor Keith Harding Dean for Clinical Innovation and Clinical Lead for Wound Healing C&V UHB

Value to Wales

CIA’s contribution to the Accelerate Programme is enabling distinct opportunities to realise and accelerate novel, innovative solutions, through effective research, development and innovation-focused collaborations. This work is underpinning a legacy of evidence-based healthcare innovation, delivering on Welsh government priorities, and supporting lasting impact across life sciences and health and care services in Wales. Through these effective collaborations, the sharing of expert knowledge, resources and processes is bolstering the translation of innovative ideas into sustainable solutions bringing value to Wales.

Case studies

These case studies highlight just some of the areas in which our clinical innovation is delivering positive impact:

The Novel Tracheostomy Tube Support Vest​

Evaluating a tracheostomy vest

The vest is designed to improve physiotherapy practices for enabling tracheostomy patients get back on their feet and regain strength after treatment.

The geko™ device

Trialling geko™ device in COVID-19 patients

geko™ provides painless neuromuscular electrostimulation to the lower leg.

3D printed exhalation ports - an example of repurposing equipment to meet new demands.

NHS and engineers join forces to build hub

The two-year project brings together Softgel Solutions Ltd, Innotech Engineering, Cardiff University, and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

Monitoring movement at the facility

Personalised virtual surgery for knee arthritis treatment

TOKA® is a collaborative project between 3D Metal Printing and the Centre of Orthopaedic Biomechanics from the University of Bath.


For more information, please contact us:

Clinical Innovation Accelerator


European Regional Development Fund
European Regional Development Fund