Cross-sector partnership to boost Leeds health tech sector

Senior leaders from the health technology industry, the regional enterprise partnership, the NHS, local authorities, and five universities today announced a dynamic, new partnership to accelerate health technology innovation within the Leeds City Region.

More than three million citizens are set to benefit from the bold commitment – the first of its kind in the region.

Partners involved in the scheme have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to drive forward new approaches in improving patient and population health and care through better and faster health technology innovation.

The move also aims to radically speed up the region’s productivity and economic growth in the sector, which is seeing an unprecedented rise both across the UK and globally.


Representing Leeds City Region healthtech MoU partners, from left: David McBeth (University of York), Rob Webster (West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership), Liam Sutton (University of Bradford), Liz Towns-Andrews (University of Huddersfield), Peter Slee (Leeds Beckett University), Sir Alan Langlands (University of Leeds), Roger Marsh (Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership) and Peter Ellingworth (ABHI).

Leeds City Region is the UK’s largest economic region outside of London and already serves as home to a more than 250 health tech businesses, 200 digital and technology businesses operating in the health and care sectors and leading centres of academic excellence in research and innovation.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is the third-largest integrated health and care partnership in the country.

The new partnership agreement will look to put in place the strong, co-ordinated leadership and support required to fully capitalise on the globally-burgeoning market. In 2015, that market was estimated to be worth £307bn, and is forecast to grow to £438bn by 2021.

That rapid growth is being driven by factors such as growing and ageing populations, the rise in levels of obesity and chronic illness, technological developments and an increasing demand for medical devices.

Signatories to the MoU, which was arranged and prepared by Leeds Academic Health Partnership (LAHP), one of the biggest partnerships of its kind in the UK, included:

  • The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI)
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership
  • Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Leeds
  • University of York

Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Leeds, John Fisher, who led the production of the Leeds City Region SIA, said: “This MoU signals an important step towards embracing the opportunities and realising the ambitions set out in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

“Each partner will play their part in helping address and overcome the barriers to innovation. By working together in a new, focussed and coordinated way, we will accelerate radical improvements in patient care, health service efficiency and drive economic growth and productivity across the region and the UK.”

Rob Webster, CEO lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, added: "We are delighted to be part of this agreement. Innovation in health technology has the potential to transform services, improve health outcomes and most importantly save people’s lives. This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in developing closer partnerships between health technology companies and health and care organisations across our area.

“It means that people will be able to benefit more quickly and systematically from technologies that can help them. It will also drive inward investment into our region and support our goals for inclusive growth.”

Partners will now form a leadership group to take this work forward. They will agree mutually beneficial themes on which to concentrate investment and efforts, and which reflect citizen and patient needs.


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