People & places

New network to boost health innovation and business

December 19, 2018

University of Brighton researchers are joining forces with entrepreneurs and community groups to turn Brighton and Hove into a focal point for health interventions.

The social and commercial network in the Brighton and Hove area will be tasked with improving health, accelerating innovation and enhancing competitiveness.

The University’s Healthy Futures will be the platform for new partnerships which will search for and research new disease preventions, diagnoses, pioneering treatments and breakthrough innovations. The collaborations will also foster high-skill training and jobs.

Professor Matteo Santin, Academic Lead for Healthy Futures, said:

“We believe that in the long term the city has the potential to emerge as a model city for health enterprise where societal needs are addressed through pioneering approaches and where organisations thrive through public and private investment. As a non-profit organisation with a multidisciplinary expertise, our University is in a privileged position to make this happen.”

The academic/business partnerships will first listen to their respective needs and to those of the public. To this end, local companies, entrepreneurs and organisations were invited to the inaugural Health Entrepreneurs’ Brunch at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton on 19 December. Two similar events will be held at later dates.

Professor Santin said:

“We want to work together to tackle key societal challenges and transform them into opportunities to make a real difference to our community and industry.

“By harnessing interdisciplinary thinking and entrepreneurial spirit in our researchers and students we can improve service delivery, transform treatments and deliver better outcomes. 

“Together with our local entrepreneurs we can develop new models for mental health care, smart design of diagnostics and technologies for the prevention and eradication of infectious diseases, ground-breaking medical implants and diagnostics, pioneering treatments for the healing of damaged tissues and organs and advanced engineering for the manufacturing of drugs, and interventions to assist with early diagnosis, disease prevention and care.

“Our communities are at the heart of what we do; we aim to widen our listening to their opinions and to integrate them in our investigations locally and to pilot projects of global relevance. Our work with our worldwide network of collaborators enables us to introduce knowledge and skill in our vibrant city and to give back to society new solutions for health challenges.

“Together we can make a determined and competent contribution to the health of our societies.”

Professor Santin, Professor of Tissue Regeneration, focuses his research on the regeneration of tissues such as bone, cartilage and blood vessels through the use of advanced materials and stem cells. His work has led to the development of soya-based biomaterials for wound dressing and nanomaterials for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Participants at the brunch were able to discuss issues with other experts who specialise in chronic and degenerative diseases, child mental health and protection, diagnostics, digital health and healthcare delivery, and prevention of water contamination.

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by Editor