Tuesday, 12 January saw a consortium led by The University of Manchester launch a new multimillion pound research and innovation institute that will build on Manchester’s academic strengths in digital health and advanced materials to discover innovative health and care solutions.
Named the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation*, it is part of an ambitious plan set out in the Greater Manchester (GM) Local Industrial Strategy to boost the city-region’s provision in this area.
It is being launched following a £5million Local Growth Fund award from Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The consortium is made up of the University, Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), and Health Innovation Manchester (HInM).
The initiative will build on investments from the University, MSP, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and The Alan Turing Institute, creating a total budget of more than £25m.
The aim of the collaboration is to capitalise on the University’s strengths in digital health and advanced materials and develop innovative products and services for the health care sector. In turn this will drive business growth and employment as well as boost the long-term health benefits of the city-region.
The institute will be housed in a flagship building at the centre of the University’s campus on the Oxford Road Corridor, as well as having bespoke, state-of-the-art research and business development spaces at MSP's Citylabs campus. This location and partnership will provide support for business growth by facilitating better collaboration between the NHS, researchers and industry through MSP, MFT, Health Innovation Manchester and the University.
The institute will play a critical role in pulling innovations through from basic research to market-ready products and services, which can then be accelerated into clinical use through Greater Manchester’s devolved health and care system and established innovation pathway. To achieve this it will build on, integrate and enhance the already extensive support provided by the partners.
The University of Manchester’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to work with our partners to exploit the University’s strengths in digital health and advanced materials to make a real difference to the health and economic development of Greater Manchester.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation is another impressive example of how Greater Manchester is leading the way with outstanding technological and scientific innovation. Health innovation is one of the city's key strengths and an integral part of our Local Industrial Strategy, developed jointly with the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and agreed with the government. It's part of our journey to become a world-leading centre for health innovation and the best place in the country to grow up, get on and grow old.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Health and scientific innovation is needed now more than ever, so it is terrific news that we can support the launch of The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation in Greater Manchester.
“The launch will see the University of Manchester continue to be a pioneer in digital health. It will come as a boost to the business sector by creating employment opportunities, at the same time as delivering further long-term health benefits to our city-region.”
Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be part of an initiative with our partners that will support researchers in accessing cutting-edge data and materials that will develop into improved treatment and care for our patients”.
Prof Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Health Innovation Manchester, commented: “Greater Manchester is world class when it comes to health innovation and advanced materials, underpinned by assets in digital technology and data science. The Christabel Pankhurst Institute will play a pivotal role in discovering and developing market ready innovations that we can deploy across the city-region, to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens.”
Thomas Renn, Chair of Manchester Science Partnerships which in partnership with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is developing the Citylabs health innovation campus, said, “The University of Manchester is at the leading edge of research which will transform our ability to predict and prevent disease. The Pankhurst Institute will provide a dedicated facility for bringing this research together and play a key role in shortening the journey from academic discovery to world-leading industry innovation.”
Lou Cordwell, Co-Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership is proud to support the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation with a £5 million award from the Local Growth Fund. Health innovation is central to both the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy and the LEP’s recently launched Economic Vision.
“We’re excited by the institute’s potential to translate world-class research into economic growth, creating jobs and stimulating investment in a sector where some of our biggest opportunities lie.”