Sheffield Hallam University has further strengthened its position as a leader in health research by joining the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).
The NHSA has welcomed the university as an Associate Member, joining nine other universities, ten research-intensive NHS Trusts and four Academic Health Science Networks across the North.
The Alliance works closely with its members to promote the life science sector in the North and to increase awareness of and drive investment into the region.
Sheffield Hallam University’s membership comes as the university is preparing to open its multimillion-pound Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) early next year.
The centre will be the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world, dedicated to improving the health of the nation by tackling key issues including static levels of physical activity and rising obesity.
As a member of the NHSA, Sheffield Hallam University has access to a range of opportunities through the NHSA’s joint research partnerships, advocacy, business development and international and national programmes.
The university hopes that by working closely with the NHSA, it will further elevate its position as national leaders in health research and technology, in addition to providing the opportunity to form part of the North’s collective voice, which continues to make an impact with government, industry and key decision makers nationally and globally.
Professor Alison Metcalfe, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that Sheffield Hallam University has signed up to be a partner of the NHSA who are at the forefront of establishing multi-partner collaborations between universities, healthcare systems and leading industry partners.
“Sheffield Hallam University is a national leader in creating innovative solutions that enable healthier lives. This partnership will further develop those collaborations which benefit the northern research community by bringing together world-leading researchers to influence the health of the nation and beyond.”
The AWRC, which has received £14m investment from the UK’s Department of Health and private sector support from partners including Toshiba and Westfield Health, will provide state-of-the-art, fully instrumented indoor and outdoor laboratories and a team of over 70 researchers delivering collaborative projects. The centre will develop technical services and products from concept to commercialisation, acting as a hothouse of innovation by bringing together those who make apps, activity loggers, sports equipment, orthotics and clinical devices.
Nicola Wilson, Interim Chief Executive at the NHSA, said: “Sheffield Hallam University is leading the way in research and innovation that enables people to live healthy, independent lives. The university and its researchers are doing some ground-breaking work within this area and it’s incredibly exciting to see the future plans for when the AWRC opens its doors.
“It is an honour to welcome them to the NHSA as an Associate Member and we’re looking forward to working with the team to help open further doors to new research opportunities.”
The NHSA has brought over £60m worth of contracts to the North of England since its inception. It has also been named as a delivery partner in the Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Sector deal and revealed over £1bn of investment in the region’s life sciences.
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