18 December 2017
Lancaster University has announced a major investment that will help improve advances in health care and significantly contribute to the regional economy.

The Health Innovation Campus (HIC), funded by the University and through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be focused on tackling the biggest challenge in healthcare today - helping people to live as long and as healthily as possible. 

Construction of the £41 million first phase of the building, adjacent to the University’s campus, has started on site with completion in 2019. 

The HIC will create new jobs by supporting 300 Lancashire-based small and medium enterprises to develop new and innovative digital and technological solutions and will have wider impact by engaging regionally, nationally and internationally with hundreds of companies. Innovations will be targeted around the prevention and early diagnosis of illness and access to care. As well as digital innovation, this will include the design, development and evaluation of healthy places to live and work, improving quality and value in health innovation systems, and the development of new materials to improve health. 

Lancaster University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Atherton welcomed the development, which will drive business innovation: 

“Lancaster University’s role as an economic anchor and driver of innovation has been recognised nationally and we have helped thousands of businesses grow, especially in the North of England. The Health Innovation Campus is an ambitious and exciting extension of our partnerships to improve productivity through innovation, and promises to boost the region’s prosperity and help us all live longer and healthier lives.” 

Graham Cowley, Chair of the LEP’s Growth Deal Fund, said: “Innovation has always been the lifeblood of the Lancashire economy so it is encouraging to hear that work on the HIC has started thanks to the LEP’s Growth Deal funding and support from the ERDF.

“It is set to be a fantastic facility which will drive new research and inspire fresh thinking with regards to how we tackle the key health issues regionally, nationally and globally.” 

“In addition to generating jobs and enhancing the University’s international reputation, the HIC development will also help put Lancaster on the map as an emerging inward investment proposition.” 

“The LEP is also supporting the new 3,500 home Garden Village situated south of the city, one of the first of its kind in the UK, to be brought forward, further showcasing collaborative working between the LEP, the University and the City Council to regenerate and enhance the city offer.”   

The campus will work by co-locating academics from a broad range of different backgrounds in a new building alongside businesses and other partners. The building will also provide a new home for the University’s expanding work in in health and medicine.

Emphasis will be on how to prevent people getting sick in the first place. It will save money as well as lives by creating new products, processes and services and thereby reduce patient demand for treatments. 

At the centre of the HIC philosophy is a commitment to work collaboratively with businesses and the health sector to co-design, develop and evaluate new ideas. It will also have a focus on personal and organisational development to ensure there is capacity and capability to promote, embed and implement innovation. 

More information here http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/health-innovation/