CLUSTER NEWS – April 2023
West Midlands Innovation Programme 2.0
This month, we begin our involvement in the new arrangements by the West Midlands Innovation Alliance for the Virtual Innovation Team.
As part of the Virtual Innovation Team (VIT), supporting the ongoing work of the WM Innovation Programme 2.0, our Cluster Manager, Emma, will focus on engaging businesses in innovation across sectors and particularly with the HealthTech industry. The role is collaborative within the VIT, with relevant WMCA personnel and across the wider Innovation Alliance networks, as appropriate. It will help to build and connect the innovative HealthTech industry in the West Midlands across the Primary and Nascent Clusters identified in the WM Plan for Growth.
Feel free to contact Emma for further information: email@example.com
On Tuesday 18th April, our regular Topical Tuesday featured Iain Mansell from WMCA who explained the projects that will be funded by the Innovation Accelerator over the next 2 years. If you couldn’t attend, please contact Ahmar@wmhtc.co.uk and he can provide you with details of how to engage with these projects.
The next Topical Tuesday, on 9th of May from 4.15pm, and will feature Gareth Stokes, Partner – Tech, AI, Sourcing – UK Tech Sector Head, of DLA Piper, talking to us about the Future of Ai, read more here.
The next Innovative Health Working Group meeting will be on 25th May 2PM-4PM at the UHCW Innovation Hub and will explore the topic- What will tomorrows Hospitals be like? held at the UHCW, find more details here.
We jointly hosted, and I chaired, the digital health conference “Excellence in Technology Innovation for the West Midlands” at Shrewsbury on 25th April. I have a strong commitment to ensuring that our cluster extends to all parts of the West Midlands region and it was a pleasure to be able to interact with businesses and organisations in this part of our region.
HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES SECTOR NEWS
Healthcare Business Awards
Medilink UK will be holding its Annual Healthcare Business Awards event here in the West Midland in June. Stand by to book your place at the event on 7th June at the National Conference Centre.
Before then, there are opportunities to sponsor the event and, of course, to make nominations in Medilink awards categories:
• Advances in Digital Healthcare
• Delivering Innovation Into Health and Care
• Export Achievement
• Outstanding Achievement
• Partnership Between Academia and Business
• Start Up
If you would like more information about the sponsorship opportunities, please contact Andrew Cecil: Andrew.Cecil@rapidnews.com
Integrated Care Systems (ICSs)
There are 11 ICSs in total within the Midlands. Health Tech Newspaper recently reported on each ICS one-by-one to see what’s happening in terms of digital.
From shared care records to a new digital pathology platform, there is lots going on – and the decisions made by these ICSs will dictate the direction of travel in the NHS in our region for years to come. Take a look here at the full report and I promise you that you will find out things you don’t already know and learn where the next action is likely to be in digital health.
WEST MIDLANDS REGION NEWS
WMCA Mayor’s Business Insights Forumn
I have been invited to join the Mayor’s new Business Insights Forum, meeting monthly to connect with representatives of key clusters and sectors and continue to get rapid, constructive insight from business leaders.
It is an honour to have this opportunity to represent all our cluster members at this level of engagement in the West Midlands. Naturally, I will want to have your views on what matters most and I will use this e-bulletin to alert you to what the Mayor wants to know and what subjects the Forum intends to examine.
I promise you that I will feed in your views – but you will need to work with me so that I can understand what it is you want me to push for in these meetings.
Cluster Development Peer Group
I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to join this new peer group which will bring together cluster leads for the eight core clusters, plus tech as a key cross-cutting area of growth in the West Midlands. The intention is that members will share approaches and become a regular monthly contributor to policy development and impact across the wider growth agenda.
Different to some of the other WMCA groups, it will hold fairly informal meetings where we check and challenge one another (including the WMCA) and use intelligence from the group to support effective and efficient horizon scanning of potential future opportunities and barriers, including cross-cluster potential for development of interventions across the economy.
Hopefully this will increase collective and individual understanding of WMCA levers across skills and talent, innovation, infrastructure and transport, and business support. I will most assuredly share my findings and ideas with cluster members through this, my monthly e-bulletin.
Midlands Engine Quarterly Economic Briefing
Registration is open for the online Midlands Engine Quarterly Economic Briefing (QEB) taking place at 10am on the 9 May 2023. It will explore the productivity of cities and city centres in the Midlands.
To secure your place, please register here. You are welcome to share this link with colleagues who may also be interested in attending.
The keynote speaker, Paul Swinney, Director of Policy and Research at the Centre for Cities, will focus on cities and city centres as hubs of production.
An expert panel will then discuss the subject within the context of infrastructure, economic regeneration and business perspectives. The panel features Rachel Granger, Professor of Urban Economies at De Montfort University, John Forkin, the Managing Director of Marketing Derby and Ruth Brown, Associate Director, Midlands Economics Lead at Arup. The QEB is a virtual seminar, held on MS Teams Webinar. It is open to anyone wanting to learn more about the health of the Midlands economy, particularly those working in economic and business development within local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, universities and government, along with political leaders and advisers, and regional businesses.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
There have been a couple of recent announcements affecting the MHRA which will have significance for all of us in the HealthTech sector.
First, the Government has announced an extra £10M funding to help bring innovative new medicines and medical technologies to UK patients more quickly.
Secondly, legislative changes to streamline clinical trial approvals will help to make the UK one of the best countries in the world to conduct clinical research for patients and researchers.
For more details of both announcements, see here.
HealthTech Investment Trends
This annual report from (American) Deloitte sets out the big picture in funding and investment for the HealthTech sector. You can read the report here.
The funding situation is said to be firm, though 2022 saw a pause in the rapid growth in venture capital funding of previous years. HealthTech is seen as a key disruptor of “business as usual” healthcare.
One of the author’s of the report, Peter Micca, was subsequently interviewed by Mobihealth News – and this is worth a read. You can read the interview here.
It is a good, short, interpretation of what the Deloitte report means and contains the encouraging opinion expressed by Peter Micca that “Demand for health tech still far exceeds supply”.
Government Chief Scietific Adviser
In April, Dame Angela McLean took up the role of the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA). Dame Angela will provide independent scientific advice to the Prime Minister and members of Cabinet and advise the government on aspects of policy on science and technology. The GCSA ensures the quality of and improves the use of scientific evidence and advice in government.
Dame Angela also leads the Government Office for Science, is Head of the Government Science and Engineering Profession, Co-Chair of the Council for Science and Technology and is part of the executive team of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
You can read the Government’s announcement here.
Cluster member Imobisoft was formed in 2009 by two friends who saw the potential in mobile applications. Imobisoft has since grown into a full-service bespoke software and automation solutions provider. Perninder Dhadwar is a director of WM Health Technologies Cluster Ltd as well as CEO of Innovate Health and Imobisoft.
Imobisoft has just announced its partnership with Mirzyme Therapeutics, a leading biopharmaceutical company, to produce a digital diagnostic tool for the detection of preeclampsia, a condition which effects 1 in 12 pregnant women.
MirZyme Therapeutics is the end-to-end preeclampsia solution. It focusses on developing solutions to predict and potentially prevent preeclampsia, a life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that around the world every year, kills a half a million babies and is a huge public health burden affecting nearly 10% of all pregnancy. MirZyme has clinically tested a diagnostic risk stratification tool for preeclampsia. The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has awarded MirZyme a fast-track award, an ‘Innovation Passport’ which provides expedited access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) for clinical trial testing. Innovation Passport is a prestigious UK scheme with global implications and benefits.
I hope you enjoy reading my e-bulletin. Feel free to contact me personally with your feedback and suggestions for future activities at firstname.lastname@example.org