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A new innovation centre in Buckinghamshire is on track to open later this year following a successful bid for funds. Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership agreed to provide £1.3m in capital funds to the Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre.
The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre will have bases at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Bucks New University in High Wycombe.
It will support the development of innovative products focused around a broad range of clinical areas including health and wellbeing, prevention and public health.
Products and innovations with the potential to demonstrate value and benefit to the health and care system will be supported. There will be a strong emphasis on innovative products that support people to better manage their health and wellbeing including medical devices, digital apps, virtual reality, 3D printing and robotics.
The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre will be led by the Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Partnership which brings together five organisations committed to encouraging innovators across industry, university and the NHS. They are:
Buckinghamshire is home to a number of global industry leaders in healthcare including Janssen/Johnson & Johnson and GE Healthcare who have supported the bid.
Buckinghamshire lies within a strong regional life sciences cluster, with over 700 life science companies in the diagnostics, digital health, medtech and associated industries. Buckinghamshire is part of the Golden Triangle linking Oxford, Cambridge and London.
The cluster has led the UK over the last few years in terms of capital investment in the life sciences.
Andrew M. Smith, Chairman of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be funding this key project to support the local health and care system. The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre offers a unique opportunity for innovators within small or large businesses to work alongside academics, clinicians, provider organisations within the health and social care system to develop and co-create innovations that meet local needs and priorities helping to reduce pressures on the health and social care system.”
Nicki Bromwich, Commercial Development Manager at the Oxford AHSN, said: “The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre is a genuine partnership that will bring together all the elements needed to support healthcare innovators in developing products and services that will ultimately improve patient care, support new businesses and generate jobs locally. It provides a strong platform for growth and sustainable partnerships between industry, NHS, public health, social care and Buckinghamshire New University. The Oxford AHSN is delighted to have supported this process from its inception.”
David Williams, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding for the Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre as it will support and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises into Buckinghamshire.
“The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre offers a unique opportunity for innovators to work alongside health and social care to develop new products and services that will improve the quality of life of our patients, and which have the potential for regional, national and global impact. We are proud to be part of this partnership and look forward to the benefits it will bring in the future."
Professor Tim Middleton, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University (pictured left), said: “The University strives to be a catalyst in making a positive impact in our region and is proud to play its part in supporting innovative businesses to meet the health needs of our region and improve patient outcomes.”
Councillor Mike Appleyard, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We have a great track record of innovation in healthcare technologies here in Buckinghamshire, so the County Council is extremely proud to be involved in this partnership as we work to make this new centre a reality. Not only will it have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Bucks but it will also help to create jobs and strengthen our local economy. We look forward to supporting this exciting tradition of innovation in life sciences as it continues to go from strength to strength in Bucks.”
Lou Patten, Accountable Officer for NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre is a truly exciting development for the future of healthcare in Bucks and beyond, and one that we believe will bring great benefits in years to come. Innovation in healthcare is absolutely essential to allow us to deliver the best outcomes for our patients. It helps our services to operate more efficiently and effectively and will potentially offer the public more ways to help prevent the onset of long term conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, supporting them to live well for longer.”