Promoting Swansea and Wales to Europe: 2016 European Summit on Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing

Swansea University will have a unique opportunity to showcase some of the world-class projects and research led by its School of Management and Medical School to an international audience this week, at the 2016 European Summit on Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing.

BrusselsDuring the summit, which takes place in Brussels from December 5-8, the Welsh Government will hold a workshop on the theme of Innovation Driving Health and Economic Outcomes tomorrow (Thursday, December 8).

The workshop’s opening address, which will be given by Ifan Evans, the Welsh Government lead for Healthcare Technology Innovation and Strategy, will launch the Swansea University led £13.5m EU-supported AgorIP scheme.

AgorIP brings together academics, clinicians, and businesses to pioneer research into cutting-edge technologies.  Led by Swansea University, AgorIP will work with the NHS and industrial collaborators across Wales to turn innovative research into new products, processes and services.

The project is backed by £6.7m from the Welsh Government, including support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), matched by resources and funding from Swansea University.

Dr Gerry Ronan, AgorIP Project Director and Head of Commercial Services at Swansea University said: “We are truly delighted to have been selected to offer Swansea University commercialisation activities to NHS Bodies across Wales.

“Clinical innovation in terms of new products or delivery of service offers immediate benefit not just to the health and wellbeing of the population, but can also be a significant driver for the economy.”

Professor Marc Clement, Dean of the School of Management, Swansea University, said: “Swansea University is delighted to be leading this important project, which links academics and business experts to come up with innovative ideas and ways of doing things.  I’m confident that the results will be of major benefit to the Welsh economy.

“As a University we pride ourselves on our links with industry and this is another example of how sectors can work together.  I’m pleased the Welsh Government is providing this financial backing via EU funding.”

Welsh Government Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “This is an important project that will deliver an all-Wales approach to turning the ideas and invention of NHS staff into new products and services. 

“With the backing of EU funds, these projects will help us to develop opportunities that will deliver on Welsh Government health improvement priorities, and our ambitions for economic development.”

Mr Evans will also speak about the new €12million, four-year CALIN (The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network) scheme, funded by the ERDF through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme.

The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network is a €12million, four-year project, funded by the ERDF through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme and led by Swansea University Medical School. 

CALIN will connect businesses with world leading Higher Education Institutions at Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities in Wales, and University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland Galway and Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland. 

It will support advanced life science product development through collaborative R&D, focusing on broad life-science technologies supporting Precision Medicine (Diagnostics & Therapeutics), Regenerative Medicine and Biocompatibility & Safety Evaluation.

By offering open access to a unique strategic international partnership between six world-class universities in Wales and Ireland, and Global Healthcare Leaders Unilever and GE Healthcare, through CALIN Welsh and Irish businesses will have access to expertise, technological infrastructure, scientific staff, and a network of key stakeholders needed to develop new products, or progress existing products to market.

Professor Hamish Laing, ARCH board member and ABMU Medical Director, will speak at the Welsh Government Innovation Driving Health and Economic Outcomes workshop about the unique collaboration between Swansea University and ABMU and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, which is focusing on digital innovation and transformation in health.

ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) brings together health and science to transform the way healthcare is delivered in South West Wales. By bringing together health, skills and education and research and innovation translated into economic impact ARCH is a truly revolutionary offering which will benefit 1 million people across the region.

Professor Laing said: “We are delighted to be able to showcase the vision and progress of the ARCH collaboration in Europe. The partnership aims to revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered in this region, create an effective and sustainable workforce and drive investment to boost the local economy. ARCH is also ensuring that prevention and improving people’s wellness is at the front and centre of all of its aims.

“ARCH is a portfolio made up of large and complex programmes - which can only be delivered through close partnership working. All three ARCH partners, supported by Welsh Government, are working together to help create a vibrant regional economy which is driven by talent.

“As well as providing excellent healthcare, we also want to establish our region as a pioneer and leader in health and life science research, enterprise and innovation and support people to stay healthier for longer.”

The 2016 European Summit on Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing takes place in Brussels from December 5-8, and for more information click here.