Trade mission showcases Manchester investment opportunity


A high-level Health Innovation Manchester delegation visited the US in September to showcase the unique opportunities the city region can offer innovative bio-medical companies looking for growth opportunities.

The delegation, which comprised inward investment officials, academics, health leaders and businesses, attended The MedTech Conference in San Jose, and also visited America’s leading health innovation economies in the Bay Area in California and the Greater Boston Area in Massachusetts, to showcase the breadth and quality of potential partnership opportunities that exist following the city region’s £6bn pa health and social care devolution.

Our message was that Manchester offers life science businesses, ranging from medtech and data companies, contract research organisations (CROs) to drug developers, an ideal location for testing and fast-track adoption of innovative treatments, services and products.

Devolution has enabled the city region to develop integrated decision-making structures and a partnership of exceptional academic and clinical assets giving life science companies direct access to the largest integrated NHS cluster in the UK. One example was the world’s first large-scale, real time randomized clinical trial, the GSK-sponsored Salford Lung Study.

The delegation highlighted the city region’s strengths in medtech, digital health, precision medicine and Greater Manchester’s excellence in research and health informatics.

The delegation also sought international partners to innovatively address the future healthcare needs of Greater Manchester’s nearly three million citizens and beyond.

Greater Manchester is continuously exploring ways to establish R&D collaborations and work with like-minded businesses from across the globe. The city region has already welcomed US-owned life science companies including Hologic, Waters Corporation, Allscripts and Hematogenix. Global corporations Qiagen, Chiesi, Hitachi and Intertek are also residents.

Starting at The MedTech Conference in San Jose, the world’s largest gathering of medtech officials, Greater Manchester’s five-day US roadshow engaged life science experts in San Francisco and Boston via two symposium events.

Business connectivity between Greater Manchester and the USA was made easier this year when Virgin Atlantic launched two new non-stop routes from Manchester direct to San Francisco and Boston, bridging the US to the gateway of the North of England market, comprising 15 million citizens.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council, said: “Greater Manchester is steeped in a history and reputation for innovation. From the industrial revolution to computer science and the recent isolation of graphene, the North of England has always had a pioneering spirit.

“With the strength of our world-class universities in medical research, and having the UK’s first integrated health and social care system, Greater Manchester is a highly-attractive business destination for US companies. As the best city to live in the UK, our city region is a great place to study, work and invest.”

Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “Greater Manchester has created a globally unique partnership, which joins up both the planning and delivery of services within a citizen-centric health and social care system covering a diverse Metropolitan population of 3m people. This partnership will deliver unrivalled access for US life sciences and healthcare companies to a large-scale, real-world test bed for innovation, covering the full spectrum of health and social care, which is underpinned by a proven world-leading digital health platform.

“The autonomous decision-making structure that covers the partnership enables the accelerated adoption of these innovations and through having an agency dedicated to partnering with industry to exploit this unique status, businesses from across the world will find it much easier to engage, making it quicker for them to move from the lab to market.

“US businesses looking to seize this opportunity will be joining an existing cluster of over 260 biomedical companies in Greater Manchester, whose universities produce over 13,000 life science graduates a year adding to an existing workforce of more than 157,000 health and social care workers overall.”

Thomas Renn, Managing Director of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), the UK’s leading science and technology park operator, said: “Greater Manchester is showcasing the UK’s first fully integrated and devolved ecosystem linking industry, academia, and health and social care to accelerate the adoption of eHealth technology.

“We are excited to spend time in San Jose, San Francisco and Boston – the leading life science hubs in the US, which will provide us with the opportunities to connect with key decision makers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and academia in other cities.

“Events like this are perfect to share knowledge, build contacts and explore how we revolutionise healthcare through the disruptive power of digital technology on both an international and global scale and to explore opportunities for partnerships.”

Health Innovation Manchester was in the United States from 25 – 29 September. The delegation included:

  • Gary Leeming, Chief Technology Officer, Health Innovation Manchester;
    Professor Jackie Oldham, Director, Health Innovation Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor (Innovation District);
  • Thomas Renn, Managing Director, Manchester Science Partnerships;
  • Professor Carol Haigh, Professor in Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University;
  • Suzie Ali-Hassan, Business Development Manager, Northern Health Science Alliance;
  • Professor Martin Gibson, Chief Executive, NorthWest EHealth;
  • Naomi Chandler, Business Engagement Officer, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Manchester;
  • Richard Preece, Executive Lead for Quality, Greater Manchester Health & Social Partnership;
  • Stephen Dobson, Interim Chief Digital Officer, Greater Manchester Health & Social Partnership;
  • Tim Newns, Chief Executive Office, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency;
  • Matt Lee, Head of Sales, Manchester Science Partnerships;
  • Kay Faulkner, Business Development Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University.
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