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CLUSTER NEWS – February 2023

It’s a fact that when public funding has been handed out for R&D projects in HealthTech, MedTech and Life Sciences, the West Midlands has tended to receive less than other regions. One theory for this under-performance is that our region fails to impress the bids’ assessors that our key players genuinely work in partnership. Collaboration with partners matters in this context because it gives assessors confidence that projects being proposed have broad support and a range of partners capable of ensuring delivery.

We have in recent times upped our game on the West Midlands. An early good example of collaboration was the help partners gave to the Department of International Trade to develop its HPO (High Potential Opportunities) prospectus for Data-driven health innovation in Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

Currently, two good collaborative bids are waiting for funding announcements: a digital health hub pilot and a pan-region University of Birmingham-led innovation accelerator. It will be interesting to learn whether we are now gaining more traction with assessors when the results are announced shortly.

The Cluster continues to promote collaboration and to be on the lookout for opportunities for collaborative bids from our region for additional funding for our sector. Working with the WM Combined Authority, I am currently engaging with a handful of key influencers to seek views on how we may improve and intensify  our collaboration to make sure we have a winning model as far as funders and investors are concerned.


March 2023 tt linkedin image

On Tuesday 7th March, our regular Topical Tuesday will feature Fungai Ndemera, of Checkup Health, she is a Healthtech Keynote Speaker,Inclusive Digital Transformation Advisor, Tech Founder-CheckUp Health culturally competent multilingual AI driven NHS-approved Systems& Apps for GP Practices&organisation, she will be talking to us about “Women in Healthtech”.

Find more details here and register to attend now.

Emma at OBN

We had great fun putting on an absolutely buzzing network and learning event at Birmingham’s Lost and Found on 15th February together with Medilink Midlands and OBN, sponsored by Solicitors Penningtons Manches Cooper. It was a very busy evening of networking and meeting some old/new contacts from around the country.

We shall be exhibiting at Venturefest 2023 on 1st March and hope to see many of you there.

IHWG Dental Hospital 2023

The Innovative Health Working Group meeting on 2nd February was brilliant. The focus was community healthcare and specifically How Technology Supports the Goals of Community Healthcare. Our hosts, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, arranged a tour of the laboratory facilities at the School of Dentistry and presentations about a range of HealthTech services for use in community settings from Delivering Safe Digital Healthcare to Secure Healthcare Monitoring. We also heard about innovations that use AI to predict and understand the needs and services to deliver community care, all through data-driven healthcare. [picture?]

The next meeting of our Board of Directors will be held on 29th March when we should set a budget for 2023-24.

Medici 2023 – Thursday 23rd March 16:00 – 19:30“The Hospital of the Future”

The Innovation Team at UHCW are pleased to invite you to our annual Medici event. The Medici event is an evening which celebrates innovation, builds connections and imagines possibilities.

During the event, we will showcase the innovation activity taking place at UHCW, and hear from several keynote speakers presenting what “The Hospital of the Future” could look like; Elizabeth Fitzhugh and Helen Wilkins, Clinical Leads for Sustainability at UHCW, discussing the innovations required to become a net zero Hospital.

Professor Andy Pardoe, Warwick University, discussing the use of big data in health care. Malcolm Barnes, Hollywood Gaming, exploring the potential of immersive reality for patient benefit.

Register here


Integrated Care Summit North

Integrated care is about giving people the support they need, joining up across local councils, the NHS, and other partners. ICSs (integrated care systems) are seen by NHS leaders as the future of health and care integration in England. The NHS Long Term Plan and now the Government’s White Paper on health and care reform both put ICSs at the heart of the NHS.

The Integrated Care Summit North: Challenges and best practice is an event which will provide NHS healthcare leaders and their partners in other sectors with a secure and high-value platform to discuss the key challenges and benefits of the integrated care strategy. The event will be held on 16th May in Manchester. Businesses, and others outside the NHS, have to pay for attendance. For the registration details, see here.

Workspace study report

This new report from GBSLEP covers all sectors of our region’s economy but has many useful details of workspace availability – and shortages – in the HealthTech sector. The GBSLEP Workspace Study outlines a series of recommendations for local decision-makers, including clusters like ours, to consider in developing a coordinated and strategic approach to investing in buildings for businesses in the region.  Prioritising funding for new incubators, clean lab spaces and Grade-A office space has the potential to drive high-growth sectors, boost our supply chains and create employment for local people.  I am sure you will agree, this is essential if we are to create opportunities for our communities.


Midlands International Trade Peer Network

The Department for International Trade is launching a new Midlands International Trade Peer Network (MITPN) specifically aimed at supporting business owners and managers to expand your exporting knowledge, grow your pool of connections, discuss common challenges currently affecting trading overseas and gain new ideas to drive your international growth. If you have an interest in international trade and exports, you might want to attend the launch event on Thursday 16th March, 9.30am-12pm (followed by networking) at The Belfry, Lichfield Rd, The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield B76 9PR

There is a similar launch event in the East Midlands the following week. For details of how to register, see here.

All Our Money

For an off-beat and entertaining way to learn how Birmingham City Council manages its £3bn budget, take a look at this Stan’s Café offering. Using thousands of gold painted dominoes All Our Money explains everything in a fast paced, clear and very funny theatre show.

Designed to be performed without any fuss in community centres, social clubs, libraries, schools, pubs or even theatres this show will change the way you think about how local democracy works and is short enough to be followed by a discussion, debate or workshop. There are multiple performances around the City during March.


New Government Departments

At the same time as a limited reshuffle of Ministers, the Prime Minister announced four major changes to the Departmental structure of his Government:

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will focus on UK cheaper, cleaner, more secure sources of energy – cutting bills, cutting emissions, and cutting our dependence on international energy supplies, like those of Russia.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has a remit to make the UK the country where the next great scientific discoveries are made – and where the brightest minds and the most ambitious entrepreneurs will turn those ideas into companies, products, and services that can change the world.

The Department for Business and Trade will be a single, coherent voice for business inside government, focused on growing the economy with better regulation, new trade deals abroad, and a renewed culture of enterprise at home.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will refocus to support and celebrate the immeasurable richness those sectors bring to our national life.

See the Prime Minister’s announcement for more information.

Deloitte’s State of the State report 2022/23

In February, I attended a Midlands Engine event (online) which was intended to review the past year of the economy in the Midlands, East and West. I was, however, most drawn to a presentation from Deloitte about its new State of the State report. The report is filled with valuable data and is particularly good at mapping public attitudes to a range of important issues. There are also regional breakdowns so that one region can be compared with others. I recommend it for a good read and some useful content.

YouTube Health

YouTube has started a new program where it aims to help create Health related content, next month YOUTUBE HEALTH UK will start with presenting a new series with the title -Health Content Best Practices.

Read More here

WM5G- Small Business Sprint Programme

Scale up your small business fast with this value packed fully funded 2 day programme

Grab one of only ten places on this hands-on 2 day programme consists of 6 tailored workshops and is specifically designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business quickly.

Fully Funded For Small Businesses in Coventry & Warwickshire & The Black Country1

Read more and register here

Spotlight on

Thermo Fisher Scientific

In January, I brought you news of Thermo Fisher’s acquisition of The Binding Site, a Birmingham based global leader in specialty diagnostics, from a shareholder group led by European private equity firm Nordic Capital, in an all-cash transaction valued at £2.3 billion. This month, let’s take a look at just who is Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc? This American based global business is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $40 billion. Its Mission is to enable customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, Thermo Fisher is there to support them. The Company provides a combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD.

For more information, see www.thermofisher.com

I hope you enjoy reading my e-bulletin. Feel free to contact me personally with your feedback and suggestions for future activities at david@wmhtc.co.uk


Executive Chair.

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