The UK Science Minister visited the University to learn how its state-of-the-art innovation hub is helping the city region become a global force in health technology.
George Freeman, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, took a tour of Nexus, which provides a base for innovators and businesses, linking them with the University’s facilities and expertise, local government and industry bodies.
The visit, on Wednesday, was an opportunity to explore the Leeds City Region‘s digital health cluster, the collaborative partnerships between innovators, businesses, academics, healthcare providers and policymakers working to improve public health in the region and beyond.
Leeds City Region is widely recognised as a health technology locus, as the base for more than a fifth of the UK’s digital health jobs as well as hundreds of digital and health technology businesses. The region’s vision is to become a global centre for health research and health technology innovation.
It’s great to see the work being done here in Leeds at Nexus, bringing high growth companies, research scientists and entrepreneurs together.
Mr Freeman met representatives from Nexus members Dedalus, a global healthcare and diagnostic software provider, and health and wellbeing technology and consultancy business Hero, to discuss their solutions for health tech problems, and Nexus’s role in accelerating their innovation.
The minister also hosted a discussion on health clusters with University academic leaders; Nexus member businesses; Dr Phil Wood, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network, and Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer for Culture and Economy at Leeds City Council.
He said: “Bridging the gap between academia and business is one of the most important tasks in our mission to become a true innovation nation and science superpower. So, it’s great to see the work being done here in Leeds at Nexus, the state-of-the-art innovation hub on the University of Leeds campus, bringing high growth companies, research scientists and entrepreneurs together in a catalyst for innovation across this globally recognised digital health and medtech cluster.
“The Leeds City Region is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s top science and technology clusters, attracting global inward investment to support economic growth in the region and helping the UK become a global testbed for digital innovation.”
Tackling global challenges
Mr Freeman was welcomed to the University by Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, who said: “Our research addresses global challenges, working in collaboration across the Leeds Innovation Partnership and beyond to make a positive impact on the world. We very much welcomed the opportunity to share our vision with the Science Minister during his visit to the University of Leeds today.”
Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, said: “Nexus plays an important role in the well-developed health innovation ecosystem within the region. It was great to showcase some of the many digital health companies from the Nexus community who are bringing new technologies to market quickly, to deliver better diagnosis and targeted treatments, and ultimately helping people to live longer, healthier and more independent lives.”