An agreement has been signed between organisations in Canada and the UK which pledges to work in partnership to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.
As part of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA’s) Healthy Ageing programme, along with Canadian organisations AGE-WELL and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), the first stage of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed in recognition of their joint commitment to accelerate healthy ageing technology for the benefit of older people in both the UK and Canada.
The MoU was signed in Manchester during a Canadian delegation visit to the UK as part of the joint UK-Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange. The Exchange includes UK and Canadian businesses with products that have the potential to improve the health and well-being of older people.
The MoU builds on a five-year collaboration between Canada and the NHSA and renews a pledge to work together to tackle major challenges in elderly care and bring innovation to the forefront of the industry.
Representatives from CABHI and AGE-WELL formed part of the delegation of Canadian innovators to the UK last week as part of the exchange programme, which coincided with NHS ConfedExpo. The UK delegation will visit Canada later this month to coincide with the COLLISION event in Toronto.
Signatories signed the MoU in the UK and additional signatories will sign it when the UK delegation visits Canada.
Dr Mandy Dixon, Executive Lead for Corporate Engagement and Cluster Development, who leads the Healthy Ageing Programme at the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), said: “This MoU builds on, and consolidates, the NHSA’s longstanding relationship with our Canadian partners via our Northern Healthy Ageing Network. The NHSA has convened a unique consortium to deliver this inaugural UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange and the MoU confirms our commitment to working with the partners involved to repeat and expand this programme over the coming years.”
Michael Chrostowski, Senior Manager, Business Development & Industry Relations at AGE-WELL said: “As Canada’s technology and aging network, AGE-WELL is excited to build on the great work done to support AgeTech with our partners at the NHSA, the participating AHSNs and CABHI. The opportunities available to Canadian and UK companies through this innovation exchange are significant and we look forward to continuing the momentum created thus far.”
Dr. Allison Sekuler, President and Chief Scientist at CABHI, said: “This partnership will have a significant, positive impact on older adults and caregivers in Canada and in the UK. New innovations improve quality of life, bring efficiencies to healthcare settings and systems, create jobs, and stimulate economies. We look forward to welcoming the UK delegation of winning companies to Canada later this month, and to continue building this international collaboration to help both countries achieve even more, faster.”
Rebecca Crow, Health and Life Sciences Sector Lead, Invest Newcastle, said: “Newcastle is recognised by the Department for Business and Trade as a High Potential Opportunity for Healthy Ageing and Longevity, so we are delighted to witness the signing of this MoU between the UK and Canada to accelerate the development of healthy ageing technology.
“Only through innovation and collaboration can we tackle the challenges posed by demographic change and a rapidly ageing population and so we look forward to working with the NHSA and our international partners on attracting investment to where it is most needed.”
Dr Stephen Lynn, Associate Director at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria, said: “We are delighted to be part of the UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange which will boost innovation in the increasingly important healthy ageing space. The Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Canada will help to streamline the collaboration process between the two countries and accelerate the speed at which transformative health technologies can begin to make a real difference to the lives of older people. The North East and North Cumbria’s health and social care ecosystem is ripe with businesses, NHS organisations and universities that can support innovators to develop, fine-tune and implement ideas, and we look forward to seeing what partnerships will grow in the region and beyond as a result of the exchange programme over the coming years.”
Chief Executive Dr Phil Jennings from the Innovation Agency said: “This is a significant development in the way technology supports healthy ageing and we’re excited and pleased to be a part of it.”
Sig Mikladal, Senior Programme Development Lead, Health Innovation Manchester, said: “We work to improve the lives of the citizens in Greater Manchester, addressing not only the health challenges associated with ageing but also levering the economic opportunities that this presents. It was a great pleasure to host the Canadian companies and showcase some of the fantastic healthy ageing related activities in Manchester. The Innovation Exchange allowed us to explore novel approaches with different perspectives for the UK healthcare market and demonstrate how a local neighbourhood approach combined with regional, national and international collaboration can come together to solve some of the greatest economic and healthcare related issues we face. I have no doubt that we will see some of the companies again in the UK soon and I look forward to accompanying our UK innovators to Canada.”
Dr Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, added: “We’re delighted to be the key delivery partner in the UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange promoting the growth of innovative companies addressing older adults’ needs. Canada and the UK have much in common with respect to the challenges and opportunities around aging. We are excited to see the potential of great innovation from overseas being made available to older adults in the UK through this Innovation Exchange. Similarly, this programme will see great ideas and innovations from the UK being exported to help Improve the health and wellbeing of people as they age.”
Exchange partners are:
- Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network
- Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC)
- Health Innovation Manchester
- Innovation Agency – part of the AHSN Network
- Department for Business and Trade
- Invest Newcastle
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