Member news: NEW HUDDERSFIELD HEALTH & WELLBEING ECOSYSTEM GETS GREEN LIGHT

Dec 1, 2023

A new health and wellbeing ecosystem designed to accelerate health innovation across West Yorkshire, including a new health and wellbeing innovation centre based at the University of Huddersfield’s National Health Innovation Campus, has been given the go ahead after securing UK government funding.

The Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership is a collaboration between the University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council’s Business Kirklees, the NHS and other local and regional health and wellbeing partners, including Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber and Third Sector Leaders.

The project has received £3.8m from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reinforce the University’s plans for a second building on the campus and help launch the health and wellbeing innovation ecosystem.

The Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership will deliver the following:
• A Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre for local entrepreneurs and growing companies in establishing health and wellbeing. Situated on the top floor of the second building on the NHIC due for completion in 2025, it will include offices, labs, co-working and event space.
• A Health Innovation Maker Space and Visualisation Suite offering access to bespoke equipment and facilities, that will be based in the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre.
• An innovation space at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, operated by the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust.
• A Health Innovation Network that will give access to the NHS, the University of Huddersfield’s capabilities, other health innovation partners, peer-to-peer networks, including discounted membership.
• A rich calendar of health and wellbeing related events.
• Mentoring for businesses wanting to grow and innovate.
• Proof of concept grants for health innovation and grants for access to technology and employee wellbeing plans.
• A soft-landing package at the 3M BIC in Huddersfield for interested health and wellbeing enterprises wanting a base near the NHIC until the second building’s anticipated completion in Summer 2025.

The ground floor of the building will host a Community Diagnostic Centre Hub (CDC), in partnership with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. This is a unique partnership, the first of its kind on a university campus. The CDC will provide access to thousands of additional diagnostic tests for the people of Calderdale and Huddersfield, including MRI and CT scanners right in the heart of Huddersfield.

Commenting on the project, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:
“West Yorkshire is the best place in the country to start and grow a business. The multi-million-pound investment into vital projects will support our local businesses to drive innovation and create good, well-paid jobs. And it will help to grow our economy as we work to build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire that works for all.”

Prof Tim Thornton, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Huddersfield, said:
“The UK SPF funding will help us build an ecosystem of health and wellbeing partners, stakeholders and businesses locally, nationally and globally, as we all strive to improve regeneration, investment, employment and growth opportunities. We want to drive product and service development in the health and wellbeing arenas and put Huddersfield firmly on the map as a major force in world-leading research and innovation.”

Prof Liz Towns-Andrews, Regional and Business Lead at the University of Huddersfield for the National Health Innovation Campus, said:
“Our aim is to build communities and a talent pipeline, amplify research & development and develop strong industry and public sector collaborations, through the adoption of novel innovation and business support initiatives. This investment will support wider, longer-term plans to regenerate Huddersfield, increase business productivity and inclusive growth, whilst simultaneously reducing health inequalities.”

Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M BIC, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for Kirklees as it will attract innovative health companies to the area over the next few years. Businesses that are keen to connect with the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre ahead of the building’s completion, will be able to join our new Health Innovation Network with membership that will give them access to events, workshops and health sector networking in the coming months.”

The first building on the National Health Innovation Campus (NHIC), the Daphne Steele Building, is set to open in 2024 and will house world-leading research facilities, specialist clinical teaching facilities, a podiatry clinic and a Health and Wellbeing Academy.

The NHIC is a key component of the West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone, announced last week, and aligns with the Station to Stadium Enterprise Corridor revitalising Huddersfield town centre.

Cllr Graham Turner, Cabinet Member – Finance and Regeneration at Kirklees Council, said:
“As part of the Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership, Kirklees Council’s Business Kirklees will be launching a Health and Wellbeing Incubator for new and early-stage start-ups early next year. Based in The Glass Box, situated opposite the National Health Innovation Campus, it will provide flexible, low-cost workspace, wrap-around business support, as well as workshops, seminars, peer-to-peer learning, networking, mentoring and start-up grant support.”

If you would like register your interest in the Huddersfield Health Innovation Partnership or the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre, contact healthinnovation@hud.ac.uk
.
More information about the University of Huddersfield’s National Health Innovation Campus can be found here.

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