Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Swansea University drive forward collaboration at BioWales 2018

PHARMACEUTICAL company Pfizer and Swansea University are driving forward their vision to improve health and wellbeing for the people of South West Wales, delegates at this year’s BioWales conference were told.

BioWales Conference 2018 Pfizer, the only pharmaceutical company involved in the project, and Swansea University announced at last year’s BioWales that they had agreed to set up an innovation hub at the School of Management on the Bay Campus.

This will include a range of therapeutic and technology-based interventions, which will be studied through the collection of real-world data. The aim of the hub is to share knowledge, skills and expertise to develop a health system which works with industry, the NHS and academia to improve healthcare in this region.

Professor Marc Clement, Vice-President of Swansea University, told a packed Millennium Centre during his keynote speech at Wales’s number one life sciences event, that the first phase of the collaboration will see the creation of two new roles to drive the project forward. Co-funded through the partnership, the Innovation Hub is looking to recruit a Professor Enhanced Health Innovation, Engagement and Outcomes, as well as a Digital Technical Consultant.

Living Laboratory:

Professor Clement highlighted the high profile collaboration will also help deliver elements of the £1.3billion Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

Professor Clement said: “One of the aims of the City Deal is to create a ‘living laboratory’ in this region for health, wellbeing and life sciences. This regional vision is strongly aligned with the UK Government’s recent Life Science Industrial Strategy.

“We see this collaboration with Pfizer as a real opportunity to operationalise our vision and aims with purpose and pace.

“The collaboration will partner with those City Deal proposals which have a strong community and primary care focus such as the Llanelli Wellness and Life Science Village and the Health Campus developments at both Morriston and Singleton hospitals.

“We are now looking to recruit two high level posts to drive forward this work. The role of Professor Enhanced Health Innovation, Engagement and Outcomes will oversee a number of pioneering digital healthcare projects with the aim of developing approaches which improve the care people living in South West Wales receive.

“We will be working with our colleagues at Swansea University’s Medical School and two local health boards to develop a ‘test and learn’ model to deliver projects which can be scaled up and adopted across the region, Wales and the rest of the UK at pace – the Llanelli Wellness and Life Science Village will be one of the first examples of this work.”

Carmarthenshire Council is the lead partner in the delivery of the Life Science and Wellbeing Village project in Llanelli, which will place particular focus on job creation and regeneration.

Tackling Health Demands:

Managing Director of Pfizer UK, Erik Nordkamp added: “We are delighted to have formalised our strategic partnership with Swansea University and look forward to working together to share knowledge and experience. Our aim is to develop innovative approaches to improve patient outcomes, support long-term sustainability of the NHS and maintain a thriving life sciences industry in the UK.

“With Swansea University, we recognise South West Wales as a region with the potential to be at the forefront of excellence in healthcare service delivery, research, education and innovation.”

Erik Nordkamp said the City Deal project at Delta Lakes in Carmarthenshire would bring all these factors together in one place. Mr Nordkamp said: “The creation of the Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village will provide a unique setting to test, capture, develop, prove and embed new ways of working and thinking.

“We are excited for the future of this partnership and the opportunity it represents for current and ongoing collaboration between industry, the Government and the health system to put patients first.”

A recent report by PwC commissioned by Pfizer called “Driving Global Competitiveness of the UK’s Life Sciences Ecosystem for the Benefit of UK Patients, the Economy and the NHS” states that workforce and skills, academic and leading edge science along with access to medicine are the three most important factors in achieving the UK's ambition for a thriving and globally competitive life science sector.

Professor Marc Clement added: “Pfizer is one of the world’s largest research-based biopharmaceutical companies. Being able to attract such established, innovative international companies to partner with us is a sign of confidence in this region and our ambition.

“Swansea University is delighted to be able to share the developments of this partnership with delegates at this year’s BioWales conference. The event is the flagship life science conference in Wales and it is wonderful to see so many industry experts, life science investors, international networks, academics and healthcare professionals all in one place celebrating the amazing life sciences work going on here in Wales.”