David Kidney’s blog: September 2023
Vision for growing our region’s HealthTech sector
A strategic approach to growing the HealthTech sector in the West Midlands.
In my role as leader of the HealthTech Cluster Organisation in the West Midlands, I get asked to lead on numerous projects. One I am particularly proud to be working on right now is, at the request of the West Midlands Combined Authority, is to investigate whether stakeholders can agree – and be guided by – a Vision for growing our region’s HealthTech sector.
I started off this project earlier this year by interviewing some of the key players. I followed this up with a survey of stakeholders, with an especial emphasis on seeking the views of HealthTech businesses. And these preparatory works culminated in the holding of a WM HealthTech Strategy Roundtable on 04 October 2023.
I was pleased to bring together many of the West Midlands most influential stakeholders in our region’s HealthTech sector at Edgbaston Park Hotel. We agreed to set ourselves the goal of developing a strategy for growth in our sector that will be agreed by all stakeholders, actioned by us, and lead to more joined-up pursuit of inclusive growth and more good quality jobs.
The diversity of the attendance at the roundtable was particularly satisfying. There were representatives of businesses large and small alongside our universities and key support agencies. The many perspectives of course meant that a range of differing views were expressed. We did not reach a consensus on the day – there was no danger of “group think” – but perhaps the stage we reached by the end of the roundtable was to have sharpened up the dilemmas we must address.
So the next steps will be really important to achieving success in this mission. I plan to share with stakeholders a summary of the roundtable discussions and put forward a draft Vision statement for everyone’s consideration. Hopefully, after necessary iterations, this will lead to agreement of a Vision statement around which all stakeholders can unite.
Alongside the draft Vision statement, I shall be working on suggestions for some Missions to give life and meaning to the Vision statement. And underpinning both Vison and Missions, I will start work on a detailed narrative for the sector.
At every stage of this work, I will positively invite views and contributions from stakeholders. Subject to how extensive these may be, my intention is to secure agreement to a Vision by the end of this calendar year and finalise the Missions and Narrative early next year.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more about this work and to get involved if you are not already in the loop.
David Kidney, Executive Chair
14 September 2023.