UfN partners collaborate to “unlock” future health tech innovation

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Conference attendees seated in theatre style listening to a speaker

An exciting partnership between the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) has brought together leading lights from across the industry as part of an ongoing partnership strengthening collaboration and innovation in the sector.

Aiming to bolster the healthcare technology sector, Nottingham became the fifth UK city to partner with the ABHI in 2022, providing access to university facilities, supporting national policy work and international engagement, and facilitating collaboration between ABHI member companies and stakeholders.

An event, hosted by the University of Nottingham, to strategically support the development of healthcare technologies and ensure they align with patient and NHS needs, took place on 2 May. This event aimed to accelerate the uptake and dissemination of research and innovation within the HealthTech sector, which plays a crucial role in healthcare delivery and contributes significantly to the UK’s economic growth. It also celebrated the successful translation of Nottingham’s world-class science and engineering research into technologies that deliver real benefits to people’s health.

Attended by over 70 delegates as well as several major UK HealthTech companies, the day included tours of the extensive range of world-class expertise, facilities and resources available through the Nottingham partners such as the Nottingham Clinical Research FacilityTrent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre and the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre.

Professor Dan Clark OBE, Programme Director of Healthcare Technologies at the University of Nottingham, said:

“Nottingham and the wider region are quickly becoming recognised as a HealthTech hub, with the East Midlands accounting for almost ten per cent of UK HealthTech employment, showing that not only is the area positioned as a dynamic centre for technological advancement, but it is also a hive of significant economic activity.”

“Boasting prestigious institutions, such as the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, as well as several collaborative NHS/academic research centres, and centres of clinical excellence, we have strong connections to the local NHS infrastructure and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities for testing and evaluating devices in real-world clinical settings.”

Professor Dan Clark OBE, Programme Director of Healthcare Technologies at the University of Nottingham
Professor John Hunt, Academic Lead for Nottingham Trent University’s Medical Technologies Innovation Facility, added:
“Health innovation is a strategic priority for NTU that provides the opportunity to connect the expertise and infrastructure of many of our Schools to deliver locally and then further nationally and internationally on health and care needs.”

“We have been working really hard for a long time to come together as a city and region to deliver on future health and care needs to be in a position now to offer to accelerate the discovery and delivery of health and care advances and interventions by combining academia, NHS trusts and the commercial sector.”

Professor John Hunt, Academic Lead for Nottingham Trent University’s Medical Technologies Innovation Facility

Anthony May, Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“Technology plays a huge part in modern healthcare and we know its impact and importance will continue to increase. Nottingham has a proud reputation for discovering, developing and implementing new technology for patient benefit, and Nottingham University Hospitals is delighted to be a part of this collaboration.”

ABHI has a series of partnerships with five key cities in England, including Nottingham, all designed to help stimulate HealthTech development and adoption at a local level, with the potential to be scaled nationally.

Richard Philips, Executive Director of Policy and Partnerships at ABHI, said:

“This event not only showcased the region’s growing reputation as a HealthTech hub, but also underscored the invaluable connections between our NHS partners, academia and HealthTech leaders.”

“Through such collaborative efforts, we are enhancing the capacity to develop innovative healthcare technologies that directly address the needs of Nottingham’s population and paving the way for success to be scaled nationally. We look forward to building on this progress and continuing our joint efforts in transforming healthcare delivery through cutting-edge HealthTech research and development.”

Notable speakers on the day included Anthony May OBE DL, CEO of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust; Professor Tom Rodden, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research & Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham; and Professor Richard Emes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and International at Nottingham Trent University.