People & places

New CEO for Life Sciences Hub Wales

May 16, 2019

“Our role is to inspire innovation and collaboration between industry and the health and care sectors to make a positive difference to families in Wales.”

Life Sciences Hub Wales

The health and care sector in Wales faces acute challenges driven by an ageing population, increasingly complex chronic diseases and the desire from patients for better access to data relating to their diagnosis and treatment.

The need to seek innovative solutions in advanced areas such as genomics, stem cells, artificial intelligence and, of course, the huge growth potential for digital innovation, has never been greater.

Life Sciences Hub Wales has embarked on a journey to address and respond to these challenges and opportunities, to support and nurture businesses, identify opportunities and work with the health and care sectors, including NHS Wales. The aim is to find innovative solutions that will have a tangible impact on the health and care of the people, and on the economy of Wales.

Wales is already home to progressive companies within the life sciences industry and is well placed in terms of scale, integration and access to markets to develop new business opportunities.

Appointment of new CEO

To fulfil this brief, Cari-Anne Quinn was appointed as CEO in October to lead and steer Life Sciences Hub Wales. Cari-Anne has a substantial track record of bringing forward jobs to support the economy in Wales and attracting health-related initiatives and companies to enhance the health of the people in Wales.  In her former role, she was Head of Life Sciences and policy adviser to the Welsh Government, where she supported business to locate, evolve and thrive in Wales.

Speaking about her appointment she said:

“We have a real opportunity to make a difference. Our work to inspire and enable partners from health, industry and academia to come together, collaborate and embrace innovation, is now well underway. I’m proud that the founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan, was born and raised in Wales. Fearlessly embracing systematic change, he was an original health innovator, and in calling for the establishment of the NHS stated; ‘As I see it, the undertaking to provide all people with all kinds of health care calls for something bolder than a mere adaptation.’

Immediate priorities

“Our first step at Life Sciences Hub Wales is to understand the health and care sector’s needs and priorities,” said Cari-Anne. “That means listening to those who deliver care encompassing primarily the University Health Boards and NHS Trusts, local government and social services.”

“We want to understand the challenges and get to know what already works well. Added to which, our role is to find and exploit innovative solutions from the life sciences sector that can ease the pressure on NHS staff and improve outcomes for patients.

“When we say ‘innovative solutions’, we don’t just mean ground-breaking treatments – although it can be that too. Innovation can simply be a new way of doing something, such as a new way of booking appointments or tracking medicines. Some of these things may already be in use in industry – for example, a company that manages stock in a warehouse may have a solution that could also help manage medicines. Our role is to identify those connections and to make them happen. Innovation transforms the way in which we can better achieve a step change in the health of the people in Wales”.

“Strong local businesses bring secure local jobs. We’re nurturing businesses in the health life sciences sector, helping them to achieve growth and sustainability. By bringing together the greatest original thinkers from industry and matching solutions to healthcare needs, we are maximising the opportunity for health, care and the economy to thrive.”

Success through collaboration

“Collaboration is central to the way we work. We’ve already seen some collaborative successes. We recently secured £24m of funding, co-funded by the Welsh European Funding Office European Regional Development Fund, for Accelerate, a pioneering programme with Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

“Accelerate aims to speed up the translation of ideas into new technology products and services for health and care, in ways which create lasting economic value in Wales. It is a good example of what we mean by collaboration as it involves academics, businesses and people working in health and care working together to find real world solutions. We already have teams on the ground working on potential solutions and I am excited to see the first prototypes.”

“Another example of our work is the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW). This is a unique network connecting companies developing innovative digital health solutions with the NHS in Wales, working in partnership with the NHS Wales Informatics Service.”

“A recent DHEW event brought together speakers and an audience of innovators, clinicians, NHS and industry to find ways that artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics could help to address the challenges faced by health systems. The event is an example of how we’re bringing together partners to propel targeted opportunities – in this instance with a digital agenda – to find workable solutions.”

An exciting time for Wales

“We are already working with some great people and organisations. If you work in the health life sciences industry, we’d be delighted to meet and partner with you. We’d like to be able to help your business grow and will support your development of strong and sustainable links with, and solutions for, health and care providers.”

“If you work in the health and care sector, please do get in touch with our team. Your voice is important. Whether you work in the front line or the back office, are at the start of your career or the head of your department; if you have an idea or a solution, let us know. Help us understand how and where a solution could be applied.”

“Life Sciences Hub Wales is well placed to drive significant and positive change for health, care and the economy in Wales. And through our links to the health and care sector, industry and academic research we are looking forward to making a tangible and positive difference.”

About Life Sciences Hub Wales

Life Sciences Hub Wales aims to drive transformational systematic change within the health and care sectors to create a better future for the people of Wales.

We know that health and economic wellbeing go hand-in-hand. Our role is to inspire innovation and collaboration between industry, health and social care, and research organisations to make a positive difference to people and families across the nation.

We are a catalyst for change. We work with NHS Wales to understand issues and identify how innovation can help deliver better care. We support businesses to create health and care solutions.

We create connections. We enable people and organisations to work with us in partnership and create networking and matchmaking opportunities for innovators.

For further details, visit us online at

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