Innovate, Engage & Grow – Charnwood Campus launches NHS and Academia Collaboration Platform ( Charnwood NACP)

Date posted: June 22, 2022
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A Charnwood Campus Cluster event, part of a series of events to support the growth and success of the life science organisations clustered around Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park

Business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and stakeholders gathered at Charnwood Campus to hear about new ways to encourage innovation and accelerate new product development in collaboration with the NHS and academia, understand how Employee Value Proposition and Corporate Social Responsibility are helping win the war for talent and identify some of the first easy steps on the road map to Net Zero.

The event celebrated the launch of a new partnership with the University of Leicester, as part of the Charnwood Campus NHS and Academia Collaboration platform, that enables closer collaboration between researchers, university led programmes and innovators and entrepreneurs.

Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said: “From rapidly creating vaccines to identifying life-saving treatments such as dexamethasone, clinical research has been vital in our fight against Covid, and is essential in saving thousands of lives. It is crucial we continue to build on this innovation and develop a strong talent pool across industry, academia, and the NHS to transform our health service to ensure it is able to deliver world-class care”.

“This new NHS and Academia Collaboration Platform demonstrates the high quality collaboration taking place and provides a blueprint for bringing together our world-leading clinical and academic expertise with our thriving SME community to get new innovative products to market as soon as possible.”

Gosia Khrais, Commercial Director at Charnwood Campus said: “ We are absolutely delighted to announce the launch of our NHS and Academic Collaboration Platform, with our first strategic partner, the University of Leicester. The clinical and academic expertise in the region is outstanding and the NACP facilitates collaborations for our cluster companies to drive innovation and business growth, accelerate commercialisation of life-saving therapeutics leading to better health outcomes and introducing cost savings and efficiencies. The programme will target pre-start-ups, start-ups and SMEs but also larger organisations to identify and successfully bridge skills, resource, expertise and/or financial gaps. The programme is an integral part of a wider Charnwood Campus Cluster Support Package that the Campus Team developed around 4 pillars:

  • Skills – Life Sciences Talent and Skills Institute that is already offering student placements, apprenticeships and upskilling opportunities
  • Leadership – Expert Mentor Networks offering peer learning and mentoring services as well as access to training leadership programmes
  • Life Sciences Cluster Support – Events, Conferences and Workshops around starting and growing a successful business, finance, market access, infrastructure and supply chain strengths
  • NHS and Academia Collaboration – collaboration between researchers, university led programmes and NHS, innovators and entrepreneurs”.

Professor Don Jones, Co-Director Leicester Precision Medicine Institute and Leicester van Geest Multi-OMICs Facility said:  “The  University of Leicester has established a rich translational ecosystem that provides a bench to bedside approach with a clear line of sight in basic biomedical sciences research through to implementation of clinical advances. Its success has been recently acknowledged by achieving second in the UK for Clinical Medicine in the recent Research Excellence framework assessment (REF2021). Critical to this success, is industrial collaboration which is absolutely essential in the translation of research from the bench to the bedside. Our partnership with Charnwood Campus will provide increased mentoring, training, secondments and company introduction opportunities, which will greatly enhance  translational and commercialisation capabilities through delivery of bespoke training opportunities, potential CASE studentships, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and collaborative projects.  This work is funded as part of the recently announced Leicester Life Sciences Translation Research Partnership £1.2m MRC funded Impact Accelerator Award, of which Charnwood Campus is a partner, and gives our cluster companies and  clinicians an excellent base to accelerate the rate of healthcare improvement”.

Dr Lucy Alexander, Head of Business Development, Charnwood Campus said: “Listening to our showcase companies who have collaborated with the University of Leicester to develop innovative products has highlighted the importance of our NHS and academia Collaboration platform in enabling innovative products to reach the market and change health outcomes for those both locally and globally. New product development in the health and life sciences sector can be fraught with pitfalls, time consuming and expensive, so understanding how you can access funded support, clinical expertise, and learning from those who have walked this pathway before is essential.’’

NHS and Academia Collaboration Platform (NACP) is a great effort to identify and tackle barriers to innovation and growth within the scientific research space. Regional strengths and expertise of the NHS and academic partners within medical research, genomics, AI, big data and large concentration of clinical research organisations locally positions Charnwood Campus’ NACP firmly on a pathway to play an instrumental role in driving change and contribute to the UK’s ambition to become scientific superpower.

Over the next 12 months the partners will be focusing on furthering the NHS, academia and industry engagement prioritising digitalisation, pandemic ‘lessons learnt’ (improved clinical trials pathways), encouraging innovative regulatory regimes, acceleration of new product development, harnessing the power of diagnostics amongst other.

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