The Buckinghamshire Health Research and Innovation Centre was officially opened by Richard Harrington, CEO for the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP), on Thursday 8 October. He was joined by the Trust’s CEO Neil Macdonald, Chief Medical Officer Mr Andrew McLaren, Director of Clinical Partnerships Dr Tina Kenny and Head of Research and Innovation Dr Nana Theodorou, amongst other guests for the opening at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The launch celebrated the opening of a purpose-built facility dedicated to research and innovation in the health and care sector. It will bring together some of the brightest and best minds, from academia and local industry across Buckinghamshire and beyond to work and collaborate with each other, as well as with the Trust. The building houses the Trust’s own state-of-the-art Research and Innovation Department; an award-winning department which recently registered its 1,000th study, remains at the forefront of clinical research into COVID-19 and currently ranks in the top 3 research-active acute medium NHS Trusts.
The new Centre provides access to fully equipped clinic rooms, wet and dry laboratories and collaborative agile working space with the latest AudioVisual equipment. By giving Trust clinicians direct access to the latest digital health developments, medical technologies and artificial intelligence, the Centre will also benefit patients.
Funded by the Bucks LEP and the Trust’s Charitable Fund, the new Centre will complement existing Living Labs, Clusters and Innovation Hubs in Buckinghamshire to help drive economic growth, sustainability and advances in line with the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy. It was built with 99% recyclable materials, harvests rainwater and is energy efficiency.
Richard Harrington, CEO of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to support the opening of this new Research and Innovation Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, home of the Paralympic movement, with £1.3million Local Growth Fund investment. The new facility will create a business incubation hub linking business to clinical research and healthcare services. It brings together the best of the clinical healthcare and the innovators in the med tech industry to develop pioneering treatments and care for patients, creating investment opportunities and jobs in specialist healthcare sectors.”
Dr Nana Theodorou, Head of Research and Innovation at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are really excited about the Centre and how it will enable the Research and Innovation Department to collaborate with academics and local businesses. We are already incredibly proud of everything the R&I teams have achieved and this space will create opportunities for all our people to innovate and collaborate. Through our research and innovation work we will provide the knowledge and advances to improve healthcare service provision and patient outcomes.”