Swansea University Medical School has welcomed the announcement of £33million of Welsh Government funding to develop new, innovative healthcare products and services, which will help boost the economy and create new high quality jobs.
£24million of the funding which comes jointly from the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government will support the new Accelerate programme which will see Swansea University, Cardiff University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David come together to speed up the translation of ideas into new technology products and services.
The Accelerate programme, which will run over three years, is being led by the Life Sciences Hub Wales and will bring together clinical, academic and industry expertise to develop and roll out new, innovative products and services within the Welsh health and care system.
£2billion to Welsh Economy
Professor Keith Lloyd, Head of the Medical School at Swansea University, said the funding would help build on the already strong life science sector – which is worth around £2billion to the Welsh economy.
Professor Lloyd said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting new Accelerate programme. The Medical School has contributed significantly to the growing life science sector through its Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Singleton campus.
“And as a top 3 UK Medical School we are committed to ensuring the research, innovation and expertise within our Medical School is used to prevent ill health, develop better treatments and be at the forefront of new technologies which can be used to improve care in the NHS.”
Improving health and wealth
“Through the Accelerate programme and this funding from Welsh Government we will also be able to ensure we can improve – not only the health of people in Wales – but the wealth of the people in Wales. We will be able to take our ideas and research out of the lab and into the marketplace – helping create new firms and new high value jobs.”
A further £9million of Welsh Government funding will be used to create additional health innovation centres across Wales. The aim of the centres will be to develop cutting edge health technology to improve the prevention, treatment and management of long term chronic conditions and take advantage of new and emerging technologies.
The money was jointly announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health Vaughan Gething and the Cabinet Secretary for Economy Ken Skates.
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said:
“Developing innovative new ways to prevent, treat and cure illness and disease is a vital part of the Welsh Government’s vision for the future of the NHS in Wales. The Accelerate programme and new health innovation centres fund will help develop new ideas for health products and services more quickly for use in our NHS and across the world.”
Economy Secretary, Ken Skates added:
“Our life sciences sector is thriving and worth around £2bn to the Welsh economy. This investment will help build on the expertise and talent we have already built up in his sector. In the long-term I expect to see this investment result in hundreds of highly skilled jobs and support economic growth.”
Cari-Anne Quinn, Chief Executive Officer at the Life Sciences Hub Wales said:
“We are thrilled to lead the Accelerate programme as it offers an opportunity to deliver economic and patient benefit on an unprecedented scale in Wales.”
The Accelerate Programme will be officially launched on 2 July.