The new Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University has already supported more than 100 businesses – well before the £41m centre opens its doors.
As part of its SME support project – fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund – the campus has been delivering a programme of assistance for SMEs and third sector organisations.
Whether they be start-up companies keen to learn how to do things differently – or more established organisations looking for assistance with new digital products or services, the HIC has been there to help. A programme of exciting events has also been delivered, showcasing the latest thinking in various health-related fields.
Alongside a continuing series of workshops, the campus has launched its new Health Innovation Leadership Programme which will identify and develop tomorrow’s leaders in the health and care sector. It is currently recruiting for its first cohort, which is due to start in March with the second beginning in May.
Dr Sherry Kothari, Director of the Health Innovation Campus, said: “While we are excited about our new building being completed, it was always important to ensure we were creating partnerships and networks before the campus opens its doors.
“With 99.7 per cent of organisations in Lancashire classed as SMEs, we are aware that those companies can be real drivers of change when it comes to the wellbeing of our region – and is where offering support can have the most impact.
“We’re really pleased we have been able to utilise the business support and digital strengths of Lancaster University to work with companies interested in offering new health products and services and driving forward innovation.”
One business which has benefitted from the support on offer was Preston-based digital communications company Redmoor Health. The business has worked with the Health Innovation Campus team to produce an artificial intelligence system for an NHS breast screening unit.
Cameron Booth, Digital Analyst at Redmoor Health, said: “This collaboration is about to deliver a really exciting digital solution, which we believe could be utilised in different ways across the health sector. We had a really positive experience working with the team at Lancaster University.”
Preston company, Mente Health, worked with the Health Innovation Campus team to create a digital system to improve transparency around different Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) so companies can better assess their suitability.
Founder Mel Joseph said: “I couldn’t have done it without them. A university isn’t just there for teaching students – it’s there to help business.”
Workshops have already been organised for January and February, offering dedicated business support and delivering skills to encourage innovation. More details can be found at www.lancaster.ac.uk/health-innovation/events/
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