08 Mar 2017 Swansea University and Pfizer unveil Innovation Hub plans at BioWales 2017

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Erik Nordkamp, Managing Director of Pfizer UK, pictured with ARCH board member Prof Marc Clement of Swansea University at BioWales 2017.

Swansea University has announced plans to collaborate on Innovation Hub at their new £450million Bay Campus.

One of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has teamed up with  Swansea University to tackle the challenges in the health sector.

The news was announced today (Wednesday, March 8) at Welsh Government’s BioWales life science conference in Cardiff Bay by Pfizer UK’s managing director Eric Nordkamp.

Mr Nordkamp outlined a new Memorandum of Understanding with the university during his keynote address at BioWales 2017 in the Millennium Centre.

The partnership will see Pfizer collaborate with Swansea University and other relevant partners on initiatives aimed at improving health across Wales.

Plans also include the establishment of a Pfizer Innovation Hub at the University, located within the School of Management on the Fabian Way campus, and will also work closely with the  Medical School’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) Enterprise and Innovation team at the Singleton  Campus.

Erik Nordkamp said: “We are pleased to announce our intention to collaborate with Swansea University.  Partnership working between the pharmaceutical industry, academia and the NHS is essential for tackling today’s demands on the health system.   Through sharing our different skills and expertise we really can make a difference to improving health outcomes for patients, developing new ways of supporting the provision of healthcare.”

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, welcomed the partnership adding: “This exciting new collaboration with Pfizer, one of the world’s largest research-based biopharmaceutical companies, is part of an intensified mission of mobilising the University’s resources in support of the NHS Wales, working closely with Health Boards and the Welsh Government.

“Swansea University is very well placed to deliver collaborative solutions and attract inward investment by drawing on its strong track record of teaching research and innovation. We have achieved our ambition to be a top 30 research University, and we are recognised by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 league table as the top university in Wales, and the winner of the inaugural Welsh University of the Year title.

“Swansea University is currently leading, or heavily involved in, many health care related projects and initiatives.  These include the innovative collaboration ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) with our two health boards. 

“This new collaboration with Pfizer demonstrates how the University can also bring in global partners to enhance the support we can give to the NHS in Wales.”

Professor Marc Clement, Dean of Swansea University’s School of Management and Vice-President, with a specific role of developing major strategic projects, was also a keynote speaker at the BioWales event this week. He unveiled plans by the ARCH partnership to accelerate projects through the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal bid, which is expected to be approved in coming weeks.

The City Deal is the biggest investment for South West Wales in a generation worth more than £1.3billion. The investment package aims to transform the economic landscape of the area with high-spec digital infrastructure and world-class facilities in the fields of health and life science innovation, energy and smart manufacturing.

The City Deal will deliver nearly 10,000 new jobs and increase the value of goods and services produced in the region by £1.8billion.

 ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is a unique partnership between ABM and Hywel Dda University Health Boards and Swansea University aimed at improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of South West Wales and forms the health and wellbeing strand of the City Deal.

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Professor Clement told the BioWales audience that Morriston and Singleton hospitals would be developed into health science campuses with additional Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) planned for both Morriston and in the Hywel Dda area at the multi-million pound Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village being led by Carmarthenshire Council in Delta Lakes.

Professor Clement said: “We are delighted to announce and begin this exciting journey with Pfizer - the latest prestigious international partner with a desire to collaborate with us, following the opening of global technology leader Fujitsu’s new Education Innovation Hub in October 2016. 

“Attracting such established, innovative international companies to partner with us in this way is a sign of confidence in our ambition and plans for future growth and expansion.

“This new collaboration also complements our ongoing strategy to evolve, support, and enhance links between health professionals, policy makers, and third sector organisations. We look forward to the positive outcomes we are confident this new partnership will bring.”

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething, added: “We welcome this partnership, which builds on the university’s excellent facilities and close links with healthcare organisations.  

“This collaboration has great potential to bring real benefits to patients in Wales.”  

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