£33 million fund announced for Welsh life sciences industry

A new £33 million fund has been unveiled by the Welsh Government to develop new healthcare products and services that can boost the economy and create high-quality jobs.

Over the next three years, the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government will plough £24 million into the Welsh Health Innovation and Technology Accelerator.

This will bring together clinical, academic and business expertise to turn innovative ideas into feasible products for the Welsh health and care system.

Meanwhile, a further £9 million of Welsh Government funding will be used to establish a plethora of health innovation centres across Wales.

At these facilities, experts will develop cutting-edge technologies to prevent, treat and manage long-term chronic conditions. Organisations will be able to bid for this money.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “Developing innovative new ways to prevent, treat and cure illness and disease is a vital part of the Welsh Government’s vision for the future of the NHS in Wales.

“The Accelerate programme and new health innovation centres fund will help develop new ideas for health products and services more quickly for use in our NHS and across the world.”

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “Our life sciences sector is thriving and worth around £2bn to the Welsh economy.

“This investment will help build on the expertise and talent we have already built up in his sector. In the long-term I expect to see this investment result in hundreds of highly skilled jobs and support economic growth.”

The Accelerate project will be managed by Life Sciences Hub Wales with the support of Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Cari-Anne Quinn, chief executive officer of the Life Sciences Hub Wales, added:  “We are thrilled to lead the Accelerate Programme to support commercialisation and product innovation across the life sciences, health and care.

“The ground-breaking Programme offers an opportunity to deliver economic and patient benefit on an unprecedented scale in Wales.

“Formally launching on 2nd July, the Life Sciences Hub Wales looks forward to collaborating closely with our partners to support Wales in becoming the place of choice for innovation in health, care and wellbeing.”