The first phase of the new Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University is now complete.
The landmark £41m Health Innovation One building is an innovation hub offering co-location space for external organisations, as well as being the new home for Lancaster University’s Medical School and Division of Health Research. The space is designed to encourage collaboration, where external organisations can draw upon the University’s expertise to address significant health challenges and improve health and wealth outcomes in the region and beyond.
To mark the completion of the building by BAM Construction, Lancaster University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Schofield, was given a tour of the campus, along with VIP guests representing contributing agencies, David Read for the European Regional Development Fund and the Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Steve Fogg.
Covid-19 restrictions mean the planned opening for many staff and co-locating businesses has been delayed. However, some teaching will begin to be delivered in the new building from September – with other activities coming on-line as circumstances allow.
As well as teaching, offices, and shared work space facilities, the new building features various meeting rooms and event spaces – including a dedicated Innovation Lab and Business Lounge. The new on-site café – HIVE – will include a menu focussed on fresh food and healthier options, while still being affordable for those on a budget.
As restrictions are lifted, a regular programme of events will see members of the HIC community invited to attend and discuss health challenges and potential solutions – with opportunities for funding and collaborative project work also on the agenda.
Plans are also in place to introduce various workplace wellbeing initiatives for employees and tenants based at the HIC, to encourage healthier, balanced lifestyles.
Development of the new campus has been supported by a £17m contribution from Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Growth Deal programme, as well as the European Regional Development Fund.
Professor Andy Schofield, Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University, said: “The Health Innovation Campus is a project of strategic importance for Lancaster University. It will provide a cutting-edge facility for our medical students, a home for the Division of Health Research and an exciting innovation hub, where academics will work with cross-sector partners on systems and products which improve health outcomes.
“The strategy for the new campus has been developed in line with the aims of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and the NHS long-term plan, and fits in with Lancaster’s civic commitment to its region.
“The University has been working on this important initiative for a number of years now and I am delighted to see the first phase now complete, at a time when working together on projects aimed at improving health is more important than ever.”
Dr Sherry Kothari, Director, Health Innovation Campus, said: “It is exciting to see the Health Innovation Campus open its doors as a physical hub which brings together industry, academic and health/care partners. The new campus will create an innovation eco-system, built on the foundations of collaboration, co-design and co-production, aimed at developing sustainable solutions for some of the most important health and care challenges in the region.
"As the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted, health is our collective responsibility and there has never been a more opportune moment to focus on health and wellbeing. By fostering cross-sector, multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaboration, the campus will take a lead in maximising impact at scale, regionally, nationally and internationally.
"With an emphasis on innovation and disruptive thinking, it will be an exciting and inspirational space. We cannot wait to welcome our partners to Health Innovation One and for them to become part of our valued HIC community.”
Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone, Dean, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, said: “The Health Innovation Campus will create a dynamic, health-focussed community at Lancaster University - where health and care research, innovation and medical education are at the forefront of the agenda.
“The new building has state-of-the-art teaching facilities, including a simulated hospital ward in our Clinical Skills Centre and cutting-edge anatomy suite. This development will really set Lancaster Medical School apart by enabling students to work alongside industry.
“Health Innovation One will provide new and exciting collaborative opportunities for researchers and students as it will be the home to a variety of organisations working in health and care, public and private sector. Connecting research, practice, and education like this in one space will catalyse health and care innovation for the benefit of the region, nation - and internationally.”
Steve Fogg, Chair, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is brilliant to see phase one of the project completed, which will provide state-of-the-art facilities to develop innovative solutions to help tackle some of the most complex health challenges associated with an ageing population.
“Whilst this will not only contribute to providing positive outcomes for our residents, the campus will also enhance Lancashire's reputation for being at the forefront of innovation, which has a fundamental role to play in improving the strength, productivity and competitiveness of our businesses.
“The decision by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to invest £17m from our Growth Deal Programme is testament to the confidence we have in the work of the Health Innovation Campus to contribute significantly to our growth aspirations for the health sector and the wider economy.”
Mick Donoghue, BAM’s Construction Manager for the project, said: “The University and ourselves have now created 11 new buildings, and they become ever more interesting.
“We’ve brought our world-class collaborative approach and problem solving skills to this scheme to see through an ambitious design and to prepare the campus for the future.
“We’ve captured the building’s data that will assist in its more efficient operation through a full BIM level 2 model.
“I think it looks fabulous and I hope it will be a great home for the very varied occupiers who will soon come to use it.”
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