Health Innovation Network

Launch of Huddersfield health innovation network to drive regional innovation

As part of our 2024 Innovation Week, in association with Innovation SuperNetwork (ISN), I hear from a health innovation network which has launched, as part of the new Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership, that will provide organisations with access to mentoring, grants and exclusive industry-related events designed to drive innovation across the region.

The Huddersfield Health Innovation Network will create a dynamic ecosystem of NHS, private, public and third sector organisations that will work together to increase health innovation.

It forms part of the Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership, a collaboration between the University of Huddersfield, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC), Kirklees Council’s Business Kirklees, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and other local and regional health and wellbeing partners, including Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber and Third Sector Leaders.

The Health Innovation Network, part of the Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership, is being delivered by the University of Huddersfield and is part funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). In West Yorkshire the West Yorkshire Combined Authority leads the implementation of the Fund as part of the Mayor’s ambition to make West Yorkshire the best place to work, learn and live.

Due for completion in 2025, the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre will provide support for local entrepreneurs and growing companies in health and wellbeing and will be situated on the top floor of the second building on the National Health Innovation Campus. It will include offices, labs, co-working and event space and a Health Innovation Maker Space and Visualisation Suite offering access to bespoke equipment and facilities.

Professor Tim Thornton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Huddersfield, said: “Building this ecosystem is just the first step in bringing together the private, public and third sectors to help drive innovation across the region. This is the start of an exciting journey as we work together to find ways to help increase business productivity and inclusive growth, whilst simultaneously reducing health inequalities and improving outcomes across West Yorkshire.”

Dr Neville Young, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber, said: “Health innovation is already extremely dynamic in West Yorkshire and this new partnership will amplify this by encouraging individuals and organisations to think about innovation in health and wellbeing and how it can really make a lasting difference and improve outcomes across the region.”

Dr Stuart Bond, Director of Innovation, from Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust said: “Bringing together the NHS, institutions such as the University of Huddersfield, as well as the private sector is fantastic. We can expand our collective expertise, knowledge and capabilities and forge collaborative pathways to address long-term health challenges and find solutions that will reshape the future of healthcare. We are very much looking forward to building stronger connections through the partnership.”

Cllr Graham Turner, Cabinet Member – Finance and Regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “This is an exciting time for the region as we kick start plans to boost health innovation through this partnership and the West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone. Business support is at the core of this, providing essential resources for enterprises to pioneer new products, software or services that will lead to advancements in health and wellbeing, job creation and local economic growth.”

Mandy Ridyard, Business Advisor to the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Here in West Yorkshire, innovative ideas are in our DNA, from the first ever motion picture to cutting-edge advancements in video games, space travel and cancer treatment. Because of devolution, we’re now able to go even further, with a £160 million investment zone to turbocharge our digital and Healthtech businesses. At the same time, we’re building on our other sector strengths including manufacturing, financial services, and the creative industries, to name a few.

“Working with our universities and businesses we’re co-creating a supportive ecosystem for innovators and entrepreneurs, leading to a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire for all.”

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