Craigavon Borough Council at the Heart of Innovation in the Healthcare Sector
28/11/2014Craigavon Borough Council (CBC) today hosted a conference in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) aimed at creating greater collaboration between the public and private sector in the field of innovation, research and product development entitled ‘At the Heart of It, Adding Clinical Value to Innovation’. The event which was sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland took place in Craigavon Civic Centre and attracted more than 100 delegates from the fields of academia, industry and business. Delegates heard from a number of senior healthcare professionals about potential live projects for collaboration particularly in the area of cardiovascular research.
The conference was also the forum for CBC and SHSCT to formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish Craigavon as a centre of excellence for health and life sciences services.
The keynote speakers included leading Cardiologists Dr David McEneaney and Dr Ian Menown, Craigavon Area Hospital and funding expert Professor Jim McLaughlin, University of Ulster. The event was supported by attendance from Minister for Health Jim Wells MLA and Arlene Foster, MLA, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Cllr Colin McCusker, Mayor of Craigavon said, “This is another excellent example of where collaborative working between the public and private sectors can have far reaching benefits. We already have some excellent examples of global success stories in these sectors in Craigavon for example through Almac and the pioneering work being undertaken in Craigavon Area Hospital.”
Robert Colvin, Chief Executive Craigavon Borough Council added,
“Life Sciences is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and a priority sector that will drive the future growth of Northern Ireland’s economy. Scientific research and new product development is critical to addressing area of clinical need and is at the heart of future growth. We believe we have the skills, knowledge and expertise within the local private sector to help deliver on the opportunities presented within the Health sector.”
Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive, Southern Health and Social Care Trust added,
“Research and development is crucial to continual improvement and has a key role to play in ensuring that our patients receive the very latest and highest standards of care.
The outcomes of such research not only boosts the local economy but greatly benefits the health and wellbeing of the broader population with the introduction of new drugs, treatments and procedures and changes to NICE guidelines. We hope that this partnership will help to attract funding to foster innovation, adding clinical value to the work we do and most importantly benefit the local people we serve.”
As well as encouraging commercial and clinical collaboration the conference also presented a number of live opportunities for joint research and new product development to meet clinical need as well as exploring supply chain opportunities for local businesses.
It is hoped that coming out of the event there will be a number of partnerships formally established in the near future.