The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and the University of Strathclyde have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), designed to stimulate HealthTech innovation, research and product development in the Glasgow City Innovation District, to benefit both UK and international patients.

The partnership will see a joint offering to UK and global HealthTech companies, across medical devices, diagnostics and digital health, that will create an ideal triple helix between academe, industry and healthcare providers.

Built around three focus areas of HealthTech research, investment and internationalisation, future work will see ABHI and Strathclyde pool expertise to enhance commercialisation routes, bringing together the investment and innovator communities to explore challenges and solutions, with the ultimate aim of providing healthcare systems with world class HealthTech.

Areas of collaboration that have already been identified include early detection, and diagnosis of disease and chronic conditions.

Innovation hubs

Strathclyde, which was named the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2019, is at the forefront of innovation in medicine and healthcare technology. Through the activities of its Health Technologies Cluster, an industry facing initiative, the University promotes the delivery of innovative technologies, enabling new treatments and models of care, focusing on prevention and empowering people to live as well as possible at home and in their communities.

Central to the partnership with ABHI will be the role of the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices (SIMD), ensuring its place as one of Scotland’s, and the UK’s, key innovation hubs.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “The health technology and medical devices sector has huge potential to radically change healthcare, not only through the early detection and diagnoses of disease and chronic conditions, but also by giving individuals greater control and management of their own health and wellbeing.

“Through our Health Technologies Cluster, SIMD and our widespread Health and Care Futures activity, our aim is to use state-of-the-art innovation and expertise in the fields of medicines innovation, health technologies, data analytics and artificial intelligence, and the workforce and leadership to make an effective and sustained contribution to the future of health and care in the UK and beyond.

“This agreement with ABHI will allow us to explore opportunities to work together to support the research, development and commercialisation of new health technologies. In doing so we will help to boost economic growth and job opportunities.”

Supporting delivery

HealthTech plays a key role in supporting delivery of healthcare and is a significant contributor to the UK’s economic growth. Its leading industry association in the UK is ABHI, who, with over 320 members, champion the use of safe and effective HealthTech.

Commenting on the MoU, Peter Ellingworth, Chief Executive, ABHI said: “Scotland is home to a large and diverse HealthTech industry that continues to grow. Institutions like the University of Strathclyde are a strong factor in the creation of innovation across medical devices, diagnostics and digital health, that can benefit patients in Scotland, the UK and around the world. This partnership can help to springboard these innovations globally, and raise the profile of the great work that is completed in Scotland. The Glasgow City Innovation district has a compelling offer, and we look forward to collaborating to further strengthen this ecosystem to benefit patients and stimulate growth of the HealthTech sector.”

ABHI and University of Strathclyde’s first output will see a joint webinar for HealthTech businesses on 30 November, designed to showcase the work of the organisations, and to detail the government’s current life science strategy, and approaches to applying for HealthTech funding.