Over the past five years CLAHRC have developed a strong emphasis on working with industry as a research and implementation broker where research and development evidence exist within a given clinical area. Through this partnership work we have been able to negotiate matched funding from a number of industrial partners locally, nationally and internationally. Developing joint funding relationships enables opportunities, especially in the field of telehealth and telecare.
With the publication of 'Innovation, Heath and Wealth: Accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS' by the department of Heath in December of 2011, and the subsequent publication of designation guidelines for the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) it has become even more apparent that the government's growth agenda is clearly linked to closer partnerships between the NHS, academia and industry.
Whilst many equate these links to mean closer working with the pharmaceutical industry with more streamlined governance systems,reducing cost of trials and improved patient recruitment, for us in an NIHR CLAHRC this is certainly not where all of the opportunities to work with industry life.
In Yorkshire and Humber our portfolio includes a range of industrial collaborators from global companies such as Bosch Healthcare and Perkin Elmer, to national companies such as Tunstall, and includes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) such as Longhand Data and Tomorrow Options.
What are the mutual benefits to be gained by such partnerships?
Firstly, income into our collaboration can be in several forms. It can be real funding to undertake evaluations of new technologies, or to implement existing evidence-based technologies into new patient groups. It could also be matched funding, including the contribution of time by engineers, and the provision of hardware or peripherals. Secondly, the sharing of ideas and knowledge from those working within the chronic disease and public health arena with companies trying to understand not only unmet needs but also the requirements and specifications of service users and service providers.
Understanding business models within the NHS and how both the NHS and the company can generate a return on their investments has been part of the work CLAHRC has provided collaborative support for. We have often provided a research and implementation needs. We then manage the research and implementation process carefully on their behalf until completion and delivery.