Life Sciences Sector Deal recognises Olympic Park

An aerial shot of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Life Sciences Sector Deal recognises Olympic Park

Key representatives from Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park have welcomed the Life Sciences Sector Deal document published in response to the Industrial Strategy White Paper.

This follows Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement in the Autumn Budget that the government is allocating a further £2.3bn to investment in research development.

The Sector Deal document recognises that: “Experts in academia, industry and health are coming together at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to deliver two pioneering projects: The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Research and Innovation Centre (ORRIC); and The Centre of Child Health and Technology (CCHT). 

“The ORRIC aims to be one of the world’s leading research and innovation centres for musculoskeletal injuries, rehabilitation, treatment and technology.

“Its purpose will aim to improve patient outcomes and drive the productivity of the UK’s workforce by reducing sickness absence and to rapidly design and develop advanced technologies.

“The CCHT will develop cutting-edge technologies to deliver the world’s most advanced healthcare for children, focusing on dramatically improving children’s outcomes who are suffering from a range of conditions including diabetes, cancer, asthma and mental health.”

Richard Caborn, project lead of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and former Minister for Sport, said: “The team and I very much welcome this document and we’re ready to make a significant contribution to the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and the Northern Powerhouse, building on the legacy ofLondon 2012.

“This kind of boost for the life sciences sector is vital at a time when NHS England is tightening budgets for new medicines and against a backdrop of an ageing population and increasing levels of chronic illness.

“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has a growing reputation as an international cluster of collaborative research centres, focused on improving health and wellbeing using sport as a basis.

“It will play a key role in supporting the UK’s life sciences sector to become an international benchmark for success, encouraging economic growth and improving health outcomes.

“The Centres announced will strengthen Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s existing offering, further supporting the UK in getting to a world-leading position to take advantage of the health technology trends of the next 20 years.”

The Centre for Child Health Technology is being led by Sheffield Children’s Hospital and will see experts from the NHS, private sector and academia leading on research to develop cutting-edge health technology to improve the treatment and management of long-term conditions that affect millions of children.

Professor Paul Dimitri, director of research and Innovation at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The benefits this can bring to children across the country is immeasurable.

“Developing technologies and high-quality interventions to address health problems and condition management at an early age will be key to securing the well-being of the next generation.

“We’re combining our innovative approach with the manufacturing experience and research disciplines available in Sheffield to lead the way towards this goal.”

The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Research and Innovation Centre is led by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will promote similar collaborative research to address some of the most common yet debilitating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions such as those affecting the spine, hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows.

Sir Andrew Cash, chief executive for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new deal complements the excellent work that Sheffield is already leading in medical technology development in response to patient needs.

“This has recently been recognised through the designation of two nationally funded NIHR medical technology cooperatives that bring together the combined expertise of the NHS, cross-industry partners, academia and patients to transform healthcare for patients with long-term illnesses right across the age spectrum.”

Both Centres will have at the core Sheffield Hallam University delivering collaborative research between academia, private and public sectors through its Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre - a £14million project which is set to become the most advanced research and development centre for health and physical activity in the world.