How Lancaster University’s new Health Innovation Campus is helping businesses before it’s even finished
The new Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University has already supported more than 100 businesses – well before the centre opens its doors this spring.
But there’s still time for organisations interested in working on site to co-create groundbreaking developments in health and well-being to get involved.
Workshops and site visits have been held for those thinking about getting on board with the new development, alongside a leadership programme.
The new campus will be home to Lancaster University’s Medical School and Division of Health Research – but also offers space for organisations to co-locate on site and work with the university and its partners on significant health challenges.
As well as office space and hot-desking facilities, campus residents will have the opportunity to use the various meeting rooms and event spaces in the new building – including a dedicated Innovation Lab and Business Lounge.
But the most important aspects of co-location are the opportunities to engage in academic partnerships and join consortia of organisations working on large-scale projects to improve health and well-being.
Dr Sherry Kothari, director of the Health Innovation Campus, said: “By joining us at the Health Innovation Campus, organisations will become part of an eco-system that maximises the value of co-design and co-production to develop health solutions through cross-sector, multi-disciplinary collaborations.
“Through our engagement work to date, we have already had a number of companies apply to be considered for space in the new building. Many of these organisations see this as an opportunity to help shape the future of health and well-being delivery – and put their skills to use in driving forward projects which can provide positive benefits for our communities.”
Organisations joining the HIC community, will benefit from:
* Working with leading researchers, academics and students
* Opportunities to join large project consortia
* Excellent transport links
* Access to health and well-being facilities at nearby Sport Lancaster
* Contemporary office facilities - including Innovation Lab for project work
* Academic library access
* Inspiring spaces and views
* Car share and electric car parking facilities
* Cafe with healthy eating options
As part of its small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support project – fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund – the campus has also 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 campus has been on hand to help.
A programme of 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 Kothari 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 benefited 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 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 held which offer dedicated business support and delivering skills to encourage innovation.
To find out more about working at the Health Innovation Campus, go online here
Details on future workshops can be found here
What is the Health Innovation Campus?
The new Health Innovation Campus at Lancaster University will make a major contribution towards tackling some of the significant health challenges we face today.
As populations continue to live longer, the preservation of good health and quality of life presents significant challenges to an increasingly ageing population.
Health systems in the UK, and globally, are under enormous pressure, necessitating innovative approaches through various methodologies.
The Health Innovation Campus will provide the physical space to support researchers, healthcare providers, businesses, local authorities and policy makers in overcoming health challenges.
Development of the new campus has been supported by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal, as well as the European Regional Development Fund. The project is receiving up to £8.6m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.
Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.