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:
- Oxford Academic Health Science Network (Oxford AHSN)
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- Buckinghamshire New University
- Buckinghamshire County Council
- Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group
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 around 100 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.
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.”
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.”
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.”