My speech delivered at – The Revolution of Digital Health Event.
At this point in time, we can allow ourselves to be optimistic about the future growth of the HealthTech sector in the West Midlands.
Optimistic that we will build on the news that the West Midlands is the UK’s top regional location for attracting Foreign Direct Investment outside London, according to the Growth Company’s figures for 2022-23.
Optimistic that the public spending of £30M on accelerating innovation in our region, mostly on healthtech innovation, over this year and next will kickstart a sustained higher level of healthtech innovation and business activity here.
Optimistic that land developments coming onstream – like BHIC, Birmingham Health Innovation Campus – will ensure we have the space to grow our region’s healthtech sector and meet not just size requirements but also specialist needs such as dry and wet labs even as this growth snowballs.
My name is David Kidney, and I am an optimist. I am Executive Chair of the West Midlands’ HealthTech cluster organisation. Our role is to promote growth in our region’s healthtech sector by supporting the coming together of clusters of healthtech businesses. It is these clusters that will help us to accelerate growth in the healthtech sector.
My optimism is shared by my organisation. Our cluster organisation has only been going for two years but already we are an established part of the West Midlands’ healthtech ecosystem. We are listened to by partners and authorities, especially for our ability to represent the views and needs of businesses.
We know our healthtech sector has strengths in data and clinical trials, in medical devices and design, in diagnostics and in digital health. We are also seeing a growing interest in pharma, which traditionally has not been seen as a regional strength. We also know that investors from near and far are showing rekindled interest in our healthtech sector.
We want to do all we can to keep these trends moving in our region’s direction.
As part of our contribution to this year’s Tech Week, I can announce today that we have now appointed our own Ambassador for HealthTech in the West Midlands.
I am delighted to introduce you to Lisa Page, our new HealthTech Ambassador:
A partner in law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper and scientifically trained, Lisa understands the life sciences and healthtech world and has expert knowledge in science and technology law, intellectual Property and commercial knowhow.
Lisa has agreed to take on the role of providing the presence, the public face, for our work with healthtech clusters around the West Midlands. You will hear from Lisa later in the day.
This is the second year that we have been asked to take responsibility for organising a HealthTech Day during Birmingham Tech Week. It demonstrates the confidence that Yiannis Maos and his Tech WM team have in our ability and our reputation. We are a small team and I think we have been incredibly impactful.
All our team is here today and we welcome engagement with you, so as well as speaking with me, do please seek out our Cluster Manager Emma Yeap, our Events Manager Ahmar, our Specialist Advisor, Paddie Murphy and our Business Development Manager Nikki Ayton. I am immensely proud of my team’s work and hugely grateful to them for all they do. My team members have worked hard, with our partners, to organise this fabulous event today. Thank you so much.
We were delighted with the success of last year’s event, but today we are on a higher level altogether. As you will see, we are joined by major national and global organisations and I am so grateful to AND Digital and all our other partners and stakeholders who are helping us to make today an even greater success that last year’s.
What will success look like today?
We want you to feel involved in the debates we have arranged for today.
We want you to make the most of today’s networking opportunities.
We want you to feel that you have learned something new and will be fired up to join us in promoting growth in our region’s healthtech sector after today.
And ideally, we would be delighted if more of you will decide today to join our cluster as a paying member or as one of our strategic partners.
We get great support from Bruntwood Sci Tech, as evidenced by this being the first event held in this splendid Bruntwood building, the new Enterprise Wharf. For a short keynote speech to start off our day together, we welcome Bruntwood SciTech’s Chief Scientific Officer, Kath McKay.
David Kidney, Executive Chair
20 October 2023.