More high-quality medical research is set to take place in the Midlands, following the launch of a new organisation. The Midlands Health Alliance (MHA) has been developed to showcase what the region has to offer with its cutting-edge health research – and is inviting industry partners to invest in the region.
The collaboration is a partnership between Midlands-based NIHR-funded infrastructure – NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs), Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), and Clinical Research Networks (CRNs) – and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in the Midlands, and will be led by the directors of the NIHR BRCs in Nottingham and Leicester.
The increased research and collaboration, conducted by internationally recognised experts working together, sharing skills and expertise, will improve healthcare for patients across the Midlands and beyond.
The MHA will work together with other regional organisations to ensure strategic and research alignment and to maximise inward investment to the region. This includes the Midlands Health Innovation (MHI), a partnership that coordinates the collective excellence in Life Sciences of seven universities across the Midlands in a bid to deliver improved health and regional growth.
MHA’s Operational Manager Lois Daniels said: “Our vision is to drive clinical research that meets some of the ‘grand challenges’ of modern medicine, putting the Midlands at the heart of UK biomedical research excellence.
“We’ve developed a single business process to make it easier and quicker for industry to work with the leading expert investigators within the NHS to harness the exciting and wide-ranging opportunities in this area.”
A map showing the industry companies the region has worked with has been developed to show the quantity of research taking place in the Midlands and the variety of expertise the region has to offer.
The MHA is co-chaired by Professor Melanie Davies CBE, from the University of Leicester and Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC, Professor David Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dean of Medicine and Head of the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Professor Ian Hall, Director of the NIHR Nottingham BRC.
Professor Davies said: “Our vision is to ensure a step-change in the quality and quantity of clinical biomedical research in the Midlands for patients, the public and industry, putting our region at the centre of clinical research.
“By working in partnership, we intend to develop a common strategy for maximising the impact of our research streams and create standardised tools and approaches to clinical patient recruitment and study setup.
Professor Adams added: “Working together across the Midlands allows us to share expertise and NIHR infrastructure to address important challenges facing our region. Through collaboration between the NHS, industry and the region’s leading Universities, the MHA will reduce inequalities in health and drive regional economic growth.”
Professor Hall concluded: “The Midlands Health Alliance is an important part of developing our research capabilities and scope bringing together the expertise, infrastructure and processes for high quality research to meet the health needs of the region’s population and the health of the wider UK. Collaborations such as this, where each partner brings unique strengths to the research programme, are essential to drive forwards translational research.”