The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology set to open in Manchester

The University of Manchester

A new multi-million pound research institute that will maximise Manchester’s academic strengths in digital health and advanced materials to discover innovative health and care solutions is being launched by a consortium, led by The University of Manchester.  The centre will be called The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology.

The name celebrates the connection between the University and Dame Christabel Pankhurst, a driving force behind one of the most significant social reforms of the 20th century. As well as honouring a distinguished alumna, the name also demonstrates the University’s commitment to redress the under-representation of women and other groups in science and academic leadership though its equality, diversity and inclusion action plan.

The Institute is being launched following a £5million award from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) Local Growth Fund and is part of an ambitious plan set out in the Greater Manchester (GM) Local Industrial Strategy to boost the city-region’s provision in this area.

The consortium is made up of The University of Manchester, Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), and Health Innovation Manchester (HInM).

The initiative will build on investments from the University, MSP, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and The Alan Turing Institute, creating a total budget of more than £25m.

The aim of the collaboration is to capitalise on the University’s strengths in digital health and advanced materials and develop innovative products and services for the health care sector. In turn this will drive business growth and employment as well as boost the long-term health benefits of the city region.

The institute will be housed in a flagship building at the centre of the University’s campus on the Oxford Road Corridor, as well as having bespoke, state-of-the-art research and business development spaces at MSP’s Citylabs campus. This location and partnership will provide support for business growth by facilitating better collaboration between the NHS, researchers and industry through MSP, MFT, Health Innovation Manchester and the University.

The institute will play a critical role in pulling innovations through from basic research to market ready products and services, which can then be accelerated into clinical use through Greater Manchester’s devolved health and care system and established innovation pathway. To achieve this it will build on, integrate and enhance the already extensive support provided by the partners.

Ben Bridgewater

Prof Ben Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Health Innovation Manchester, said

“Greater Manchester is world class when it comes to health innovation and advanced materials, underpinned by assets in digital technology and data science.

“The Christabel Pankhurst Institute will play a pivotal role in discovering and developing market ready innovations that we can deploy across the city-region, to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said:  “This is a really exciting opportunity to work with our partners to exploit the University’s strengths in digital health and advanced materials to make a real difference to the health and economic development of Greater Manchester.”

Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “Thanks to £5m of Government investment from the Local Growth Fund, a world-class facility for health technology and research is being built in the heart of Manchester. As a key part of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, the Christabel Pankhurst Institute is testament to the strengths of partnership working while cementing the Northern Powerhouse’s reputation for being at the global forefront of health, science and innovation.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Deputy Mayor for Business and Economy for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), said: “The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation is another impressive example of how Greater Manchester is leading the way with outstanding technological and scientific innovation. Health innovation is one of the city’s key strengths and an integral part of our Local Industrial Strategy, developed jointly with the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and agreed with the government. It’s part of our journey to become a world-leading centre for health innovation and the best place in the country to grow up, get on and grow old.”

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be part of an initiative with our partners that will support researchers in accessing cutting-edge data and materials that will develop into improved treatment and care for our patients.”

Rowena Burns, Chair of Manchester Science Partnerships, which in partnership with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust is developing the Citylabs health innovation campus, said: “The University of Manchester is at the leading edge of research which will transform our ability to predict and prevent disease. The Pankhurst Institute will provide a dedicated facility for bringing this research together and play a key role in shortening the journey from academic discovery to world-leading industry innovation.”

Mike Blackburn, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “The LEP brings together private and public sectors across the city-region to support, among many other things, the development of local skills and innovation. The Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology and Innovation is being launched following a £5 million award from Local Growth Fund here in Greater Manchester – it is successful partnership working such as this that will enable organisations such as the University to continue to go from strength to strength.”


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