Organisational Sub-strategies - Lancaster University

These focus on specific aspects of the overall strategy which are pertinent to each partner organisation.

The University's knowledge exchange (KE) in health and medicine, supported by funding from HEIF5, is driven by the Faculty of Health and Medicine but involves all four faculties. The Faculty KE programme, led by Professor Goodacre and Jane O'Brien, encompasses a range of partnerships with public and private sector organisations in the context of collaborative research, innovation, CPD and professional development.

Having achieved a steep trajectory of success and external engagement over the first three years, our strategy for 2014-17 will focus on:

Enabling a coherent, University-wide approach to strategic planning and delivery for KE in Health & Medicine.

We shall build upon the record of cross-faculty working in KE which has been established through HEIF 5 to develop and implement an agreed structure for KE in Health & Medicine across the University. Within this, the Collaborative Partnerships structure will provide a focus for engagement, facilitation and advice to enable the University to work with public and private sector organisations, including the NHS, in this field. It will also provide leadership for 'big' projects involving cross-faculty collaboration and multiple partners, and for organisation of and participation in large conferences and events, including the forthcoming LU 50th Anniversary Life Sciences conference and NHS EXPO 2014.

This work will be developed in consultation with the Deputy VC, colleagues in RES, the Faculty HEIF leads, and Faculty PRCs. The outcomes will be reflected in the development of a coherent approach across the University for communications and marketing in this field.

Enhancing our systems, organisational structures and capacity to support delivery and sustainability.

Having used HEIF5 support to prove the value of the underpinning concept and to establish a skilled team and appropriate infrastructure (none of which were previously in place) to deliver the activity, we recognise the need for increased capacity to enable the strong potential of the partnership to be realised. We shall explore this by:

  • Implementing the recently-established framework for honorary appointments of NHS staff, so that such staff can contribute to the continuing growth of the Partnership.
  • Exploring joint clinical academic appointments with NHS partners, to support the development through involvement of new staff.
  • Identifying and developing the case for capacity in key areas, for example, project management and bid preparation.
  • Periodically reviewing the cost-efficacy of our existing structure to ensure that we are maximising 'value for money' in terms of available resource.
  • Increasing available income for investment in additional posts and sessional support through successful grant applications, external consultancy, and the potential for a modified business model in relation to future HEIF funding.

As part of our approach to capacity-building, we shall continue to explore the potential for involvement in the partnership of other NHS organisations, including primary care, and other universities.

Enhancing engagement of LU academic staff with KE in Health & Medicine.

With HEIF 5 support we have established a structure to embed KE in each division of the Faculty, and have achieved progress in engaging staff in KE activity. Over the next 3 years we shall actively manage the growth of interest and engagement in KE within the Faculty by implementing a programme of activities led by KE leads within each Division, including:

  • A programme of regular meetings on campus to bring Faculty staff together with external stakeholders around a broad theme of 'Health and Social Care in 2020'. The programme will enable joint visioning of future development, and will encourage opportunities for local partnerships, based on local strengths, to emerge on this context. The programme will be established in 2014, with meetings once per term.
  • A programme of regular events at NHS Trust sites, hosted by NHS R&D departments and led by honorary staff in each Trust, to focus on identifying and supporting opportunities for joint working.
  • Informal events within the Faculty to showcase existing KE projects and activities, to explore routes to impact of this work, and to introduce newly-appointed staff to the Partnerships programme.

Enhancing the performance and reputation of LU for leading and supporting locally-driven collaborative research and innovation in Health & Medicine.

We shall continue to enhance our performance and national reputation by focusing on key deliverables, with mutually-agreed targets. These will include grant income, publications and other outputs, delivery of courses and KE activities, KTPs, staff secondments, and communication.

We shall also work with our NHS partners to develop mutually-agreed metrics for performance in supporting innovation, and in enabling an efficient process for research costings, IP arrangements, and study set up as appropriate. The performance of the Partnership, together with the detailed project tracker, will continue to be reviewed at quarterly MAG meetings.

Establishing strong relationships with the NWC AHSN, NWC LCRN, NWC CLAHRC, LETB, LAT, N8, NHSA, Bionow, LEPs and other key regional / national networks.

As these major structures and networks become established across the North of England we shall ensure that we maintain strong relationships with them at both strategic and operation al level. Each organisation will be represented on the MAG, and we shall seek representation on their Boards and management groups as appropriate.

We shall also work with these organisations to participate in, and in some cases lead, large funding initiatives, for example, around Horizon 2020, to enable involvement of the University and the NHS in major funding programmes across the EU.

Enhancing our capability and infrastructure for working with Industry.

We shall build upon our founding strategy for working with Industry, which identified the approach of establishing a 'package' of areas of joint NHS / University working as the basis of a distinctive offer for Industry engagement across Lancashire & Cumbria. We shall continue to develop and shape this in partnership with Bionow.

We shall focus on building upon the University's strong track record of working with SMEs, whilst at the same time recognising the increasing interest of large global companies in working with us in areas such as Digital Health and Personalised Care and Treatment, as well as Biopharmaceuticals. Our approach will be shaped by the principles and areas of potential development highlighted in the Witty report 'Encouraging a British Invention Revolution', and we shall explore in particular the opportunities which exist locally around the themes of digital technologies and environment.

Developing robust joint governance processes and business models

Our platform for supporting effective governance processes for joint bidding will be maintained, and modified accordingly to ensure its alignment with emerging NIHR CRN and MHRA systems.

We shall also explore opportunities for establishing spin-out companies with academic and NHS partners, based upon our collective skills and professional expertise. Depending upon the outcome, such developments may form part of the partnership's future business plans.

Informing and driving the development of the Lancaster Innovation Campus

The intended focus of the proposed Innovation Campus around Health and Medicine offers an opportunity for the University to embed KE within its core structure and business, as well as to harness the benefits from the substantial progress which the Partnership has achieved over the past three years. The Partnership will play a key role in shaping the vision and planning for the Campus, and eventually in the delivery of its activities.

From our perspective, the notion that the Campus should provide a focus for interdisciplinary working and that it should be founded upon robust NHS, Industry and Public engagement are key founding principles for further development of the concept.