Cross-sector partnership to boost healthtech industry

More than three million people across Leeds City Region should benefit as health technology industry leaders, the LEP, the NHS, local authorities, and universities today announced a scheme to accelerate health tech innovation.

More than three million people across Leeds City Region should benefit as health technology industry leaders, the regional enterprise partnership, the NHS, local authorities, and universities today announced a scheme to accelerate health tech innovation.

This commitment is the first of its kind in the region. Organisations involved have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to drive forward new approaches in improving patient and population health and care through better, faster health tech innovation.

The move also aims to radically speed up the region’s productivity and economic growth in the sector.

As the UK’s largest economic region outside London, Leeds City Region already has a concentration of excellence in health tech.

It is home to more than 250 health tech businesses, 200 digital and technology businesses operating in the health and care sector, leading centres of academic excellence in research and innovation, and West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, the third largest integrated health and care partnership in the country.

However, the Government’s Leeds City Region Science and Innovation Audit (SIA), said stronger, cross-sector collaboration is vital to overcoming barriers to growth.

The partnership agreement will put in place co-ordinated leadership to capitalise on what is a globally burgeoning market. In 2015, that market was estimated to be worth $371bn and it was forecast to grow to $529bn by 20221.

Growth is being driven by factors such as ageing populations, the rise in levels of obesity and chronic illness, technological developments and an increasing demand for medical devices.

The MoU announced today was prepared by Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP).

Signatories include: The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI); West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership; Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership; Leeds Beckett University; University of Bradford; University of Huddersfield; University of Leeds and University of York.

They have agreed to work together to drive economic growth and improve health outcomes and service efficiency by: finding personalised, community-based health tech solutions that help the people of the Leeds City Region to live healthier lives for longer, particularly those living in identified priority neighbourhoods; sharing insights into what people in Leeds City Region need, to determine what the priorities should be for health and care services and industry and driving inward investment in health tech to support inclusive economic growth.

Roger Marsh, Chairman of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NP11, said:

“Our region is home to one of the UK’s largest concentrations of innovative life science businesses, pioneering world-leading innovations and delivering significant GVA for the region. This unique partnership will provide an integrated network to accelerate innovations to meet the health needs of our communities.”

Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Leeds, John Fisher, who led the production of the Leeds City Region SIA, said:

“This MoU signals an important step towards embracing the opportunities and realising the ambitions set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It paves the way for us to reduce fragmentation, further harness expertise and capability and radically strengthen the Leeds City Region’s position as a leading global player in health tech.

“Each partner will play their part in helping address and overcome barriers to innovation.”