UK medtech sector boosted by launch of Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus

22 May 2012

A groundbreaking partnership to drive growth and innovation in the UK medical technology sector was launched at the House of Commons today.

The Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus will provide one of the world’s largest health innovation spaces, with the aim of establishing the UK as a global force in a sector worth over £170 billion per year.

Specialising in near-market solutions for products and services, this cluster of expertise in eastern England will be of enormous benefit to healthcare providers and commissioners. The Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus has already secured support from a number of key stakeholders in industry, local and central government and the NHS.

The partnership was formally launched at the House of Commons by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health Earl Howe, along with representatives of Anglia Ruskin University, Southend University Hospital and three local councils from Essex.

Earl Howe said, "I am delighted to add my support to this extremely exciting adventure. Since I took over a couple of years ago as minister with responsibility for innovation in the NHS I have been more than ever aware of how rich a history we have in this country of innovative new ideas stretching back to the industrial revolution. We also have in the NHS the world's largest and longest established national system for healthcare.

"These two facts about our past make a powerful statement about what our future could be. In the more than six decades of the NHS, in partnership with the UK's top universities, we've been at the forefront in advances of medical sciences yet we've sometimes been a lot less successful in translating these discoveries into widely adopted products and services.

"Instead it has often been our competitors who have profited from our ingenuity. This has partly been because of a lack appropriate infrastructure. All too often the necessary components all medical innovation are not located in the same place. So we have got all the right talents in the UK, we just need to harvest them.

"The med tech campus I think is the first of its kind in this country, and represents a real boost for innovation. It supports us in our quest to continue as a world leader in medical innovation. It provides a springboard for economic growth and development in the UK. I would like to congratulate all the partners who had the vision and the drive to establish this venture and wish it every success."

Partnership for medtech development

The project, which is a partnership between Chelmsford City Council, Harlow District Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Anglia Ruskin University, is predicted to grow the UK medical technology sector by £1.2bn and generate approximately 12,500 jobs.

Anglia Ruskin is the lead academic partner and key provider of business and innovation services. It will facilitate access to a range of relevant expertise, sector-dedicated research, specialist consultancy staff, and testing and clinical trials capabilities. The local authorities will use their land use, economic development and community well-being powers to engage the development industry and attract inward investment.

Three sites will be developed across Essex — in Chelmsford, Harlow and Southend-on-Sea — and 120 acres of land has already been identified to accommodate the 1.7 million square feet of floor space. A business network will act as a catalyst for innovation, supporting the commercial exploitation of ideas through a portfolio of services offered domestically and internationally.

Speakers at the launch of Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus

(back row, left to right): Rob Tinlin (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Chief Executive), Daniel Coole (Managing Director of Surgical Holdings), Lord Tomlinson (Chair of the Board of Governors at Anglia Ruskin University) and Tony Young (Consultant Urological Surgeon at Southend University Hospital and Director of Medical Innovation at Anglia Ruskin University).

(Front row, left to right): Steve Packham (Chelmsford City Council Chief Executive), Professor Michael Thorne (Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor), Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health), Sir Duncan Nichol (Non-Executive Director of Synergy Health plc) and Malcolm Morley (Harlow District Council Chief Executive).

Harlow Council Chief Executive, Malcolm Morley, said: “Harlow is a centre of innovation and has recently gained Enterprise Zone status focusing on medical technology, advanced manufacturing and ICT. The Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus is a great fit with the Enterprise Zone and the aspirations of the town, and it will leverage the town’s comparative advantages.”

Steve Packham, Chelmsford City Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Chelmsford has long been a centre for economic growth, further enhanced this year by the granting of city status. Our long-standing partnership arrangements with organisations throughout the area have led to our engagement and support of the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus; a project that presents an exciting and outstanding opportunity on a global scale.”

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Chief Executive, Rob Tinlin, said: “We already enjoy an important medical technology cluster in the borough with global names such as Olympus Keymed located here, and the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus will create opportunities for innovators to exploit their potential, businesses to work together in a way they haven’t before and for new health solutions to be developed improving quality of life for residents. Together this will create jobs and increase learning opportunities.”

As well as delivering a major economic boost for the UK, and Essex in particular, the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus will lead to community and patient benefits through the adoption of improved health products and services. Anglia Ruskin University is home to the Postgraduate Medical Institute — a research centre actively supported by 22 regional health and social care partners — and over 30,000 students, 8,000 of whom are studying subjects relevant to the medical technology sector.

Professor Michael Thorne, Anglia Ruskin’s Vice Chancellor, said: “Our vision for the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus is as a globally leading centre for medical innovation, building on our world-leading research in subjects allied to medicine and the solid partnerships we have built up over the years with the healthcare sector and with industry.”

Further information

Anglia Rusking MedTech Campus:


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