Data-driven health innovation in the West Midlands
Meet the growing demand for data-driven, patient-centred healthcare solutions with applications in diagnostics, devices and digital applications.
Data-driven health innovation can lead to the early intervention of diseases, illnesses and conditions, as well as enable the creation of tailored, bespoke therapies for patients.
An opportunity exists in Greater Birmingham to harness world-leading academic and clinical strengths in data, digital, diagnostics and devices.
Thanks to unrivalled access to usable healthcare data, this is a chance to develop research and accelerate market access, taking patient-centred healthcare solutions from early development to real-life application.
Foreign direct investment
Healthcare and life sciences
Sector and market opportunity
Companies based in West Midlands can access opportunities to develop diagnostics solutions, digital health innovations and satisfy the need for life-changing devices from a location with excellent access to data.
From the region, companies can access a large number of data sets and one of the largest clinical trials portfolios in Europe giving the information needed to develop diagnostic solutions, digital technologies and applications and devices.
Demand for data-driven health and care technologies is increasing, with innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning radically improving early intervention and the creation of tailored therapies.
The region’s unique concentration of prestigious institutions and multi-disciplinary, highly skilled teams make for an unrivalled, collaborative infrastructure.
Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC) has 130,000 square feet of lab space and has been designated as a life sciences opportunity zone.
It offers many advantages, including clinical links to the likes of University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital and The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.
As the UK’s fastest growing airport, you can fly to over 150 destinations from Birmingham Airport. Meanwhile, East Midlands Airport is home to the UK’s largest dedicated air cargo operation, making it the country’s most important airport for express freight.
At the centre of a connected transport network, the region has close proximity to London and is within a 4-hour drive for 90% of the UK population.
The region is culturally diverse and host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, making it a unique and exciting location for your business.
Birmingham New Street Station is at the hub of the National Rail network and has fast, frequent services to London’s Euston Station.
Local talent and skills
There are over 17,000 people employed in the life sciences sector in the West Midlands.
The West Midlands is the largest centre of higher education outside of London and the area includes several EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Doctoral Training Centres ensuring talent and skills are available for the future.
Locally, there are over 22,000 students studying courses related to data and healthcare.
The Midlands is at the forefront of technologies such as industrial digitisation, life sciences and alternative fuels. It's home to world-class assets and centres of innovative excellence. The region is ideally placed for the distribution of manufactured goods, reaching 92% of the UK population within 4 hours. Birmingham is at the heart of one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, HS2, and hosted the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Research and expertise
The region is home to world-class research centres with cross-sectional focus on data-driven healthcare and technologies.
You’ll have access to leading research centres in health innovation and regulatory science as well as Centres for Doctoral Training.
There’s also the chance to tap into a network of industry and academic partnerships with the expertise to help you understand national and international demand.
Key nearby institutions include:
- the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment (IHN)
- the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC)
- the Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) Centre for Regulatory Science and Innovation
- the Healthcare Technologies Institute
- the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH)
Local and national government support
The UK is investing heavily in data-driven healthcare and technologies, so your company can capitalise on the vital funding that’s pouring into the sector.
The Life Sciences Vision builds on the successes of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and the various sector deals, plus it aims to build on the scientific successes and ways of working learnt from coronavirus (COVID-19) to tackle future diseases.
To make your move to the West Midlands as seamless as possible, the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) is the inward investment promotional team for the region.
With links to property agents, recruitment consultants, public agencies and universities, the WMGC helps businesses easily establish their operations in the region.
Other organisations also offer support and opportunities to collaborate, including:
- Medilink Midlands
- the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN)
- the West Midlands Health Technologies Cluster (WMHTC)
The Binding Site
The Binding Site leads the way in providing innovative diagnostic solutions to clinicians and laboratory staff to significantly improve the diagnosis and management of patients across a range of cancers and immune system disorders.
Founded by researchers at the University of Birmingham, the company’s manufacturing facility and its global distribution centre are both based within a few miles of there.
Dignio was established in Norway in 2010 and its connected care solution comprises software as a medical device, and consists of a platform for healthcare professionals and an app for patients.
Dignio chose to establish its first UK office in the West Midlands in 2017 at the University of Birmingham Research Park. It’s now based at the Institute of Translational Medicine, part of the estate of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust.
Gifford Bioscience is a preclinical contract research organisation undertaking experiments for big Pharma, biotechs and university researchers on their potential medical drugs.
It chose to base its team at the BioHub on the University of Birmingham’s Research Park. This location provides superb laboratory facilities, excellent IT and a community of life science and clinical researchers.
It has built a strong relationship with the university, which gives the business essential connections to state-or-the-art equipment and facilities, plus access to high quality, curated tissue banks.
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