Medilink News 20th Anniversary Edition Medilink News NOE 2017f - Page 3

MEDILINK - 20 YEARS OF TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE The old cliché ‘where has the time gone’, springs to mind at moments like this. I go back with Medilink some twenty five years, when I had darker hair, glasses that resembled those worn by Brains in Thunderbirds and two small children, the first of which has just made me a Grandad (or Papa as I am called - it doesn’t hurt my pride as much!). The journey from a small local project initially funded by a local TEC & European funding, to licensing the Medilink model to other regions, and then onto forming a national body, Medilink UK, the largest industry representative body for the Life Science sector in the UK, has been a challenging but immensely fulfilling one. And yet looking back to the ethos on which Medilink was born, bringing together the ABCs (Academics, Businesses & Clinicians) in formal regional partnerships to drive economic growth and improve patient care, is as important now as it was then. That said, Medilink is barely recognisable from its initial form, no longer reliant on European funding and hosted by universities (the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Hull in the first instance) but independent, achieving self- sustainability and delivering networked membership support (web sites, newsletters, e-bulletins, events / conferences and awards) through to commercial contracts with Life Science organisations and Government agencies. Our resilience over the last twenty five years (the last twenty as a limited company), has I believe, been down to Medilink’s receptivity to the changing needs of members and to the constantly changing healthcare delivery and business support infrastructure. We have extended our membership base from MedTech to embrace, BioTech and Pharma, as the technologies between these respective industries have converged, and more recently we have embraced Digital Health as this becomes the major vehicle for transforming how health and social care is delivered. Medilink’s regional infrastructure has allowed us to embrace the development of Local Enterprise Partnerships & Business Growth Hubs, maximising opportunities for the Life Science sector. And our Medilink offices in Yorkshire & Humber, the North West and the North East, have provided for a new and exciting level of cross regional interaction, with the Medilink North of England network becoming proud founding members of the Northern Powerhouse. A special word of thanks to Doug Liversidge, CBE, our founding Chairman who provided inspiration and support in the early formative stages of Medilink and to Dr. Gareth Lloyd Jones who took over as Chair in 2006, and has been a guiding light since this time. But perhaps the biggest thank you of all goes to our individual members, and Medilink team members, who have been an absolute delight to work with – without your continued support, encouragement, and in many cases friendship, this extremely enjoyable journey would not have been possible. Here’s to the next 20 years! Please use #Medilink20 and @MedilinkYH @MedilinkNW to show your support for Medilink in our 20th year. Kevin Keily Chief Executive Medilink BOOSTING GROWTH ACROSS THE NORTH JAKE BERRY MP - MINISTER FOR THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE The Northern Powerhouse is our long term plan to boost growth across the North. It is comprehensive, from tackling inequality in our education system to strengthening trade and investment, and, importantly, supporting science and innovation. Health Innovation is a prime growth opportunity for the region, which has a wealth of expertise and assets in this field. The North is home to 20 universities and research institutions, and we must support them if we’re going to create a sustainable economy for the future. Across the region, we’ve made significant investments so far including a £20 million boost to Health North and investing £14 million at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield. From awarding £20 million for a Manchester & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund to supporting the Accelerator Building, a life science hub in Liverpool city centre, we’ve demonstrated our firm commitment. On my first ministerial visit since taking on the role of Northern Powerhouse Minister, I chose to see the STEM Laboratories at the University of Cumbria, which has been backed by more than three quarters of a million pounds of government funding. I was impressed by how these bespoke teaching and research facilities have been created in direct response to the increased need for biosciences graduates in Cumbria and across the North, reflecting an increase in demand from Sellafield and other businesses for analytical scientists. These type of projects are crucial to the success of the Northern Powerhouse. They’re making sure we’re giving people the skills they need to thrive in a flourishing industry. Now, we’re turning to our Northern Powerhouse Partners to help reinforce our work in the sector. We’ll build on progress to date to encourage a thriving private sector and train highly-skilled workers who can make the most of the opportunities on offer. I look forward to working with Medilink to advance this work even further. 3