West Midlands organisation wins multi-million EU health grant

Birmingham News

Birmingham News

A consortium of world-class organisations, including the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, has been announced as the winner of millions of EU funding to boost innovation and tackle health challenges.

The WMAHSN has been a core partner in InnoLife, a consortium of more than 140 partners from leading businesses, research centres and universities from across Europe. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology announced that InnoLife had been successfully selected as the EIT Health Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), to tackle healthy living and active ageing across the continent. The Institute will now provide the KIC with a start-up grant of up to 4 million euros during its first year.

The West Midlands AHSN has been leading the bid on behalf of the West Midlands’ health economy, a key component of the offer, working in the UK alongside such prestigious core partners as Intel, the University of Oxford and London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.

KICs connect innovation hubs in Europe – known as Co-Location Centres – which will become leading centres of excellence, competing and collaborating with other innovation hubs across the world. The EIT Health KIC will develop products, services and processes to aid healthy living and active ageingand nurture innovative, entrepreneurial people, turning investment into real benefits for health, society and the economy.

“The outstanding factor behind the decision was the potential of the winner to create innovations needed to address critical challenges for today’s societies. EIT Health is an excellent partnership that will generate impact, in terms of growth and job creation,” said Martin Kern, Interim Director of EIT. “Our task is now to launch EIT Health rapidly so that they can deliver innovation and growth.”

Dr Christopher Parker, Managing Director of the WMAHSN, said: “We are thrilled to be a major partner in the consortium winning this call for proposals. An ageing society poses a serious challenge to the whole EU, including the West Midlands, and science and innovation have a crucial part to play in tackling this.