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Innovate UK Workshop

Innovate UK – UEA Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences (FMH) Innovation Workshop, 16th May 2019

The UEA Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences (FMH) Innovation Workshop with InnovateUK, was held on campus at the Constable Terrace Doctoral Training Centre Training Room on the 16th May 2019. The day was designed to inform UEA - FMH researchers about funding opportunities for academics to work with industry partners and facilitate future discussions around potential collaborations. Twenty-five academics from both the Norwich Medical School and the School of Health Sciences attended as did Mark Hitchcock the MD of UEA Health & Social Care Partners.

Prof Michael Hornberger (FMH) gave an illuminating introductory talk about FMH industry interactions to date and encouraged colleagues to avail themselves of the new opportunities ahead.  Jan Stringer, Knowledge Transfer Adviser for Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and London East presented several interesting case studies showcasing how academia and industry combining forces could result in significant wins for both. She also spoke about the Innovate UK programme and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Dr Karen Smith, UEA Relationship Manager for Medical and Life Sciences and EIRA Team Manager also spoke about a range of funding opportunities including upcoming calls from Innovate UK and the full range of EIRA funding interventions available. You can contact Karen via email Karen.l.smith@uea.ac.uk.

Future Tech Roadshow

The Future Tech Roadshow was held at the Earlham Institute on the 26th April 2019. It was a joint event by the Norfolk & Waveney STP, EAHSN, UEA and Hethel Innovation and was supported by supported by the NHS Leadership Academy, NHS Health Education England and Skills for Care. It attracted well over 100 delegates from across the region who heard about the latest developments in MedTech.

UEA held a special session in the afternoon focusing on Dementia MedTech and Prof Michael Hornberger Norwich Medical School gave the keynote talk entitled “Dementia and technology – where are we now?”  There were then 3 sessions:

Session one focused on Pre-Diagnosis and Dr Alpar Lazar School of Health Sciences talked about ‘Sleep technology and dementia prevention’ he was followed by Dr Gillian Coughlan Norwich Medical School, who focused on ‘Big data and diagnostics of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease and then Dr Saber Sami, Norwich Medical School who talked about ‘New imaging stratification techniques for improved diagnostic and prognostic accuracy in dementia.’

Session Two was on Post-Diagnosis and Prof Chris Fox Norwich Medical School talked about ‘How do people with dementia and carers find Assistive Technology places, replaces or displaces care for independent living with cognitive impairment? From a quantitative perspective.’ and Prof Fiona Poland School of Health Sciences, then discussed the same from a qualitative perspective. Dr Vaisakh Puthusseryppady Norwich Medical School then spoke on ‘Spatial Disorientation in Alzheimer’s Disease: From Virtual Reality to the Real World’.

Session Three focused on ‘What Next’. Dr Karen Smith  Research & Innovation Services, UEA gave a talk about Funding Opportunities and there was a Panel- identifying both pre and post diagnosis priorities. You can contact Karen via email at Karen.l.smith@uea.ac.uk

Fulfilling the promise of AI & disruptive technologies: UEA and EIRA event with IBM

This fascinating event at the UEA Enterprise Centre on the 28th March 2019 explored the opportunities presented by not only AI, but also the Internet of Things and technology more generally. Our panel, representing our region’s key sectors, discussed the practical applications at the front end of business.

The audience, drawn from businesses and academics from across the region, heard from Andy Stanford-Clark – CTO at IBM UK, ‘Master Inventor’, and UEA alumnus and was compered by Tim Robinson, COO at TechEast.

The panel included:

  • Healthcare – Ben Meen, Project Manager at Norse Care
  • Energy – Rob Bush, Operations Manager at EEEGR (East of England Energy Group)
  • Finance – Owen Morris, MD at Aviva Quantum (Aviva’s Global Data Science Practice)
  • Retail – Rohit Chaturvedi, Team Lead at Tech Mahindra (working with East of England Co-op)
  • Water – Dr Vittoria Danino, Head of the Anglian Centre for Water Studies, Anglian Water

Also joining the panel was Prof Emma Griffin, from UEA, providing perspective from her latest project ‘Living with Machines’, set to be one of the biggest humanities and science research initiatives ever in the UK.

The event was sponsored by EIRA, a project driving growth in the East of England by connecting businesses with academic expertise, facilities & funding across 3 themes: AI, Biotech & Digital Creative.

For further information, contact: Dr Karen Smith, Relationship Manager Medical & Life Sciences and EIRA Team Manager.

 

UEA Innovation & Impact Awards 2019 – Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (FMH) Winners

Winners of the Innovation and Impact Awards 2019 were announced on Thursday 31 January at a glittering ceremony held at the Sainsbury Centre. The Awards were presented by guests from a range of businesses and organisations that regularly collaborate with UEA, and the ceremony featured a keynote address from Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia LEP.

The Awards celebrate staff and students who have shown a strong commitment to innovation and impact, and recognised vital collaborations between UEA and organisations outside of higher education.

Finalists, UEA staff, guests, and external organisations, attended for networking drinks, a three-course meal, and presentation of the awards. The evening was a great success and a true celebration of the world-changing research and innovation activities taking place at UEA. 

The winners from FMH were:

  • Award for Student or Graduate Innovation and Enterprise – Dr Oskar Wendowski (MED/PHA) and Dr Thuria Abduljhbar (MED) for e-Surgery
    Presented by Rebecca Lewis Smith, Fountain Partnership
  • Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare – Dr Karen Bunning (HSC) for ‘Childhood Disability in Rural Kenya
    Presented by Richard Snell, IBM

Prof Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, hosted the evening and said:

“UEA truly is a hub of pioneering, ground-breaking research excellence and innovation, and these awards celebrate the fantastic work being undertaken by our staff and students alike. They also highlight the support of our external collaborators, without whom such successes would not be possible.”

Each finalist received a trophy to commemorate their achievement and each category winner will also receive funding towards a marketing venture for their project, to further their impact and reach.

For more information about the Innovation & Impact Awards 2020, please email Dr Karen Smith at Karen.l.smith@uea.ac.uk

Doctoral Antimicrobial Research Training MRC iCASE Programme

Members of the Norwich Research Park (NRP) have launched the DART iCASE programme, funded by the MRC for studentships in partnership with non-academic partners.

iCASE studentships:

  • Provide students with experience of collaborative research with a non‐academic partner.
  • Strengthen and develop collaboration and partnerships between research organisations and non‐academic partner organisations.
  • Offer outstanding students an experience of at least two distinct research cultures.
  • Provide access to a wider-than-usual range of technology, facilities and expertise.
  • Enable the student to spend a period of time with the non-academic partner.

DART MRC iCASE studentships are funded for 3.5 years: they provide a stipend to the student at the standard UKRI rate for each year, tuition fees, and an RTSG (Research Training Support Grant) allowance to cover both academic lab expenses and travel and accommodation costs for conference attendance.
All iCASE students will be required to spend a minimum of 3 months (maximum 18 months) working with the project’s non-academic partner. The timing of the placement may be in one single block or variable periods spread out over time as best suits the project.
Projects must contribute to the prevention or improved treatment of infectious diseases, and collaborations with a wide range of companies and organisations will be supported:

  • small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • companies within the local area or which have specialist technical expertise
  • national and multinational companies (with a UK base).

In exceptional cases, organisations based overseas may be eligible, but only where they can provide the student with an opportunity to gain skills not currently available in the UK.


Partner Contributions


The non-academic partner must make a specific, identifiable contribution to the research training of the student. In addition, non-academic partners must meet:

1. All costs associated with the placement and visits to the company/non-academic partner.
2. An annual cash contribution to the academic partner towards the cost of the project of at least £1400 per annum, for the period during which research data are being collected and analysed – a minimum of 80% of the approved length of the studentship (not required for SMEs; see below).
3. A mandatory cash payment of at least £2500 per annum as a supplement to the stipend for the entire length of the studentship award (not required for SMEs; see below).

SMEs are not required to the make contributions listed under points 2 and 3, as these will be met by the MRC programme (SMEs are companies that meet the definition included in Recommendation 1996/280/EC of an SME i.e.: The enterprise must have a staff headcount of less than 250; The enterprise must have a turnover not exceeding €50m and/or a balance sheet total not exceeding €43m).
For further information on developing a project proposal, please contact: Dr Karen Smith, Relationship Manager Medical & Life Sciences — Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

Norfolk businesses offered AI, biotech and digital creative funding through EIRA

The power of artificial intelligence, biotechnology and digital creative will be harnessed by business thanks to a new partnership between seven universities and colleges.

The EIRA project, meaning Enabling Innovation: Research to Application, was awarded £4.7m from Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund and is now open for applications from businesses looking to innovate by working with academics.

The aim of EIRA is to drive growth and increase productivity in the East of England by transforming the way businesses connect with universities including the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Dr Karen Smith, EIRA team manager at UEA, said: “The EIRA scheme will leverage our expertise into strategic sectors for this region to help them and the local economy grow. Furthermore, the scheme will support interaction between UEA and local businesses that will result in knowledge exchange and innovations to support business growth in a skill poor region. Local companies will also benefit from the scheme helping to retain graduate talent within the region.”

With a range of majority-funded grants available, EIRA will help businesses of all sizes develop new products, services, and Support includes Innovation Vouchers to fund access to academic expertise and Research and Development Grants. More opportunities are in development, with Innovation Internships and start-up microfinance.

Partners from industry, regional membership organisations, and local enterprise partnerships strengthen EIRA’s offering. They include BT, TechEast, AgriTech East, Digital Catapult, South Essex Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP).

Businesses and academics interested in accessing EIRA funding for innovative projects can find out more at www.eira.ac.uk. You can also hear Karen’s interview on Future Radio with presenter Richard Maun about how businesses can harness the research power of universities through projects like EIRA.

NPL visit UEA

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) visited the Norwich Research Park on the 13th December 2018 and were hosted by Dr Karen Smith at the Enterprise Centre.

About NPL: NPL is the UK's National Measurement Institute, and is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available. NPL share their expertise with government, business and society to help enhance economic performance and the quality of life. NPL's measurements help to save lives, protect the environment, enable citizens to feel safe and secure, as well as supporting international trade and companies to innovation. See http://www.npl.co.uk for further information.

Highlights:  included presentations by Ms Lisa Leonard, Head of Regions, NPL Strategy, Regional Development and Skills; Dr John Molloy, Regional Development Manager,       Agritech and Future Communications; Mr Andre Burgess, Strategic Business Development Manager, CAV, Digital Economy, Energy Sustainability and Dr Emiliana di Santis, Higher Research Scientist, Biometrology, Life Sciences and Physical Metrology.

There was a Networking Lunch that enabled over a dozen academics from across the Norwich Research Park to talk to our visitors informally and this was followed by a series of individual meetings between PIs and the NPL.

For further information on how businesses can work with UEA/NRP, please contact Dr Karen Smith in the first instance at karen.l.smith@uea.ac.uk

GSK Visit UEA

On the 21st November 2018 Dr Karen Smith hosted a visit by GSK to UEA. 25 UEA academics drawn from across the Schools of Medicine, Biological Sciences, Computing and Pharmacy enjoyed a fascinating visit from the GSK Discovery Partnerships with Academia Unit (DPAc).

The DPAc unit have an innovative approach to drug discovery. Set within GSK’s research and development organization, it is dedicated to creating highly collaborative relationships with leading academic researchers and believes that working closely together and combining the different strengths of the company with academics is a great way to develop new medicines that truly benefit patients. The concept has proved simple but powerful: bring together the insight and creativity of the academic world with the drug discovery expertise, capabilities and resources needed to make a medicine. The visit was designed to inform UEA researchers about the DPAc model and facilitate networking and discussions of potential collaborations.

Dr John Liddle, Senior Director & Discovery Partnerships Leader, DPAc and Dr Andy Pearce, DPAc Partnership Leader Europe gave a highly informative talk about the programme and answered questions at the end. This was followed by a networking lunch to ensure everyone could speak to John and Andy informally. Prof Laura Bowater kindly introduced the poster session held in the Julian Study Centre.

After  lunch our visitors had a series of one-to-one meeting with Prof Michael Wormstone, Dr Sam Fountain, Dr Sean Bew, Dr Mark Williams and Dr Mohammad Hajihosseini.

If you would like to find out more about drug discovery activities at UEA please contact Dr Karen Smith at karen.l.smith@uea.ac.uk

UEA & Earlham Institute host Genome Technologies and Innovation Workshop

This exciting and inspiring event attracted over 80 delegates from across the East of England and was held at the Earlham Institute on the 31st October 2018. The agenda for the day is highlighted below:

SESSION 1

09:50 - 10:10  Prof Colin Cooper, UEA
10:10 - 10:30  Rob Kingsley, QIB - ‘Phylogenomics of Salmonella pathovariants’
10:30 - 10:50  Justin O’Grady, QIB - 'Rapid metagenomic diagnosis of hospital acquired pneumonia'
10:50 - 11:00  David Thybert, EI – ‘A framework for the sequencing and assembly of rodent genome at the chromosome level’

SESSION 2

11.10 – 11.30  Thorsten Langner, TSL - 'Genome Architecture of Fungal Plant Pathogens'
11:30 - 11:50  Jemima Brinton, JIC
11:50 - 12:10  Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, UEA - 'Human genotyping as a public health and clinical tool'
12:20 - 12:30  Darren Heavens, EI ‘Comparing library construction strategies to improve assembly of A. thaliana data when using nanopore technology’
12:30 - 13:40  Tour of EI Labs (30’)* / Innovation Station chats for PhD students (Wallace Room)*
*Optional session

SESSION 3

13:40 - 14:00  Iain Macaulay, Earlham Institute - 'Single Cell Sequencing at the NRP: Decoding Living Systems One Cell at a Time'
14:00 - 14:20  Ofir Meir, Tropic Bioscience - ‘Harnessing Genome Editing Technology to Drive Innovation in Tropical Crops’
14:20 - 14:40  Alison Johnson/Megan Abigail, Food Forensics ‘Application of NGS in Food Authenticity’
14:40 - 14:50  Q&A
15:10 - 17:00  Planning and Next Actions (Darwin Room)* Case study, Announcement of ‘Pilot Grant Programme in Genomics Innovation’ winners, Introduction of ‘Industrial Challenge Seed Fund’, Group Discussion and Report
17:00 - 17:00  Close

A wide range of companies attended and these included: Astra Zeneca, Dovetail Genomics, Hethel Innovation, PacBio, Oxford Nanopore, Perkin Elmer, Qiagen, Tropic Bioscience, Thermo Fisher and TTP Labtech.

Thanks to:

Prof Laura Bowater

Academic Director of Innovation, UEA

For co-organising the event and approaching EI with the idea of a cross-NRP Genome Technologies & Innovation workshop

Dr Karen Smith

Relationship Manager Medical & Life Sciences & EIRA Team Manager, UEA

For co-organising the event and securing funding of the event through UEA Research England Industrial Strategy seedcorn funds

Dr Karim Gharbi

Head of Genomics Pipelines, Earlham Institute

For co-organising and hosting the event

Dr Emily Angiolini

Head of Training, Earlham Institute

For co-organising the event and logistics support from the training team

For further information about UEA genome technologies please contact Dr Karen Smith at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

Chief Economist of Nuffield Trust visits UEA

Prof Ric Fordham and Dr Karen Smith were delighted to welcome Prof John Appleby to UEA as the latest speaker for the ‘Big Picture: Health Economics and UK Health Policy Seminar Series’. His talk was held in the Zuckerman Institute on the 11th September 2018.

John joined the Nuffield Trust as Director of Research and Chief Economist in September 2016, after 18 years at The King’s Fund. He is also a Visiting Professor at the City Health Economics Centre, City University London and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College. He has previously worked in the NHS in Birmingham and London, and as senior lecturer at the universities of Birmingham and East Anglia. For five years he worked for the National Association of Health Authorities (now the NHS Confederation) as manager of the Association’s Central Policy Unit.

John has acted as an advisor to the UK government and Parliament in various capacities, for example, carrying out a review for Ministers of the future funding needs of Northern Ireland’s health service, and as a task force member for the Marmot Commission on health inequalities; a special adviser to the House of Commons Health Select Committee, member of the National Quality Board’s Priorities sub-committee and as a member of the Department of Health’s Stakeholder Reference Group on patient reported outcome measures.

So his talk entitled ‘NHS at 70: Time for retirement?’ was eagerly anticipated and garnered many insightful questions from the audience that included senior health economists, medical practitioners, policy makers and academics. There was a buffet and wine networking session at the end to enable further discussion.

If you are interested in Health Economic Consulting at UEA please see their website or contact Dr Karen Smith at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

UEA host Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Thought Leadership Event

UEA held a very insightful and enjoyable AMR Thought Leadership event on campus at the Julian Study Centre on the 11 September 2018.

The event was hosted by Prof Laura Bowater, Academic Director of Innovation and convened by Dr Karen Smith, Relationship Manager for Medical & Life Sciences. Laura got proceedings underway by highlighting the range of AMR work being undertaken at UEA and on the wider Norwich Research Park. She then introduced Prof Alan Johnson of Public Health England who addressed the question ‘Antimicrobial resistance: is there still a problem in the UK?’ Following his illuminating talk, Daniel Berman of NESTA talked about the Longitude Prize a challenge with a £10 million prize fund to help solve the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Rachael Hore from Results UK then talked about drug-resistant TB and the role of policy. At this point the speakers and 50 delegates present enjoyed a short coffee break and were able to look at posters displayed by post-graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in the break-out area. On returning to the lecture theatre Dr Davide Manissero of Shionogi talked about when a new antibiotic makes it to  the market and how to ensure a healthy and long life for drug and patients. The final talk about FMT and Phage therapy as alternative strategies to combat superbugs was given by Prof Arjan Narbad of the Quadram Institute. There was then a panel Q&A, drinks reception and networking. Throughout the day artist and illustrator Rebecca Osborne captured the key messages and this was displayed along with the posters.

The event was part of arrange of activities that have revolved around ‘Superbugs: the fight for our lives’, a one year exhibition that UEA is sponsoring at the national Science Museum in London. Other activities have included UEA participating in a Museum ‘Lates’ event based around AMR which attracted approx. 4,000 visitors on the night and also an AMR video competition for local schools which resulted in children from the two winning classes enjoying prizes that included a coach trip to the Museum to see the exhibition, tickets to Wonderlab and the 4D Legend of Apollo movie.

To coincide with this event, Karen hosted a visit to UEA in the morning by Dr Kai Stoeber, the VP of Global innovation, Shionogi (a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan https://www.shionogi.com/). He met with several PIs including Prof Michael McArthur, Prof Matt Hutchings, Dr Justin O’Grady and Dr Barbara Jennings.

For further information about AMR research at UEA please contact Dr Karen Smith at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

Announcing the winners of our AMR Video Schools Competition

In honour of the UEA’s ‘Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives’ antibiotic resistance exhibition on show at the London Science Museum, the SAW Trust and the UEA gave local schools the chance to take part in a film making competition.

The Superbugs exhibition explores how society is responding to the enormous challenge of antibiotic resistance, whilst giving audiences a chance to see real bacteria and discover the innovative technologies being used to make superbugs a thing of the past.

We asked schools to come up with a short film that conveyed a public health message associated with antibiotic resistance. The more creative, innovative and exciting ideas, the better! We received a number of excellent entries that included the promotion of good hand washing techniques to limit the spread of infections, the importance of finishing your course of antibiotics, and explaining how antibiotics aren’t always needed to get better.

The Judging Panel was composed of: Prof Laura Bowater, UEA; Prof Matt Hutchings, UEA; Dr Karen Smith, UEA; Dr Jenni Rant, SAW Trust and Dr Seema Patel, Pfizer.

 

We are pleased to announce the winners:

1st Prize:

Hevingham and Marsham Primary School (Teacher – Sam Gibbons)

See their winning video

2nd Prize:

Mile Cross Primary School (Teacher - Mark Pinner)

 

Congratulations to both classes won a complimentary trip to the London Science Museum to see the Superbugs exhibition, inclusive of travel costs, simulator tickets and goodie bags.

Dr Karen Smith joined the winning class from Hevingham and Marsham Primary School at the Science Museum on the 17th of July to congratulate them and joined them in touring the highly informative Superbugs Exhibition, exploring the inspiring ‘Wonderlab’ and watching the exciting 3D motion theatre film ‘Legend of Apollo’.

 

 

If you would like to find out more about AMR research at UEA, please contact Karen at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

MRC visits UEA

We were delighted to welcome Dr Mariana Delfino-Machin and Dr Ivan Pavlov from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to UEA on the 22nd May.

They gave a very informative presentation to an audience of over 20 participants drawn from the Medical School, the School of Health Sciences and the Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy as well as Research Services.

Topics covered included information about the MRC Boards and optimising applications as well as a range of funding opportunities. There was also an excellent Q & A  followed by refreshments and a networking session and one-to-one Principal Investigator meetings.

The day was organised by Prof Anne-Marie Minihane and Dr Karen Smith. If you would like to know more about collaborative research opportunities, please contact Karen at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

UEA share pioneering research at the Science Museum in London

Leading experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA) shared their pioneering research around Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) at the Science Museum in London yesterday (Wednesday 25 April).

The event, one of the Museum’s monthly after-hours Lates series regularly attended by over 4000 visitors, was themed “Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives”, the Science Museum’s free exhibition which UEA sponsors alongside Pfizer, Shionogi and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

“Superbugs”, which is on display in the Tomorrow’s World gallery until Spring 2019, highlights the urgent need to tackle AMR which, without action, will lead to advanced medical treatments such as chemotherapy and major surgery all but disappearing as bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

Prof Laura Bowater, Associate Dean for Innovation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “Taking part in the Lates event was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the cutting-edge research we are undertaking at UEA to detect, cure, and avoid anti-microbial resistant infections.”

 UEA hosted a range of interactive talks and activities, including an opportunity for visitors to “defeat” superbugs with soap in an AMR coconut shy.

UEA scientists gave short talks on their research to open up conversations around better detection of infections, the search for new antibiotics and the avoidance of infection altogether as possible solutions to the AMR crisis.

Meanwhile, live event artist, Rebecca Osborne, illustrated the conversations as they unfolded, and visitors were invited to offer their opinions on how limited resources and budget would be best spent – “Detect, Cure, or Avoid?”.

Researchers from the John Innes Centre, who join UEA as being part of the Norwich Research Park, exhibited their Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded Antibiotic Hunters research within the UKRI zone.

Also at the event, UEA PhD student Hans Pfalzgraf competed in the Famelab UK final after winning the regional heat which was held in Cambridge. In this competition, participants must engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three-minute presentations. Hans won the UK runner-up prize for his talk “Better Antibody – Drug Conjugates Against Cancer”.

Attending from UEA were Prof Laura Bowater, Prof David Livermore, Dr Gemma Kay and Dr Karen Smith. If you have any questions about AMR research at the university please contact Karen at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

Launch of ‘The Big Picture’ Seminar Series

40 participants drawn from across the UEA Schools of Medicine, Health Sciences, Economics, Law and Computing and from NNUH, NNUHFT and East Coast Community Healthcare assembled in the Zuckerman Institute on the 30th January 2018 to mark the launch of this new seminar series developed by Prof Ric Fordham (MED) and Dr Karen Smith (RIN).

They heard a truly insightful and enjoyable talk on ‘Health Economics and UK Health Policy’ from guest speaker Anita Charlesworth CBE, Director of Research & Economics, The Health Foundation. Prof Fordham said ' Anita's insights from the very top of policy making in this county and her straight-to-the-point analytical grasp of  the key funding issues faced by the NHS, made her talk not only very engaging for all who came along on a cold winter's evening but also extremely thought provoking.  She certainly set the trend for talks in the 'big picture' to come'. The talk was followed by cheese & wine networking reception.

Image below (left to right): Dr Karen Smith, Anita Charlesworth CBE, Prof Ric Fordham.

About Anita:

In addition to being the Director of Research & Economics at The Health Foundation Anita is and Honorary Professor in the College of Social Sciences at the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University of Birmingham.

Before joining the Health Foundation in May 2014, Anita was Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust (2010-14) where she led the Trust’s work on health care financing and market mechanisms. Prior to that she had roles as Chief Analyst and Chief Scientific Advisor at DCMS (2007-10), Director of Public Spending at the Treasury (1998-2007), where she led the team working with Sir Derek Wanless on his 2002 reform of NHS funding and worked as an Economic Advisor at DH and for SmithKline Beecham pharmaceuticals.  She has worked as a non-executive director in the NHS – for Islington PCT (2007-2011) and The Whittington Hospital (2011-2016). She was specialist advisor to the House of Lords' select committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS. Anita has an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York and is a Trustee of Tommy’s, the baby charity. She was awarded a CBE in The Queen's 2017 Birthday Honours List for Services to Economics and Health Policy.

About the Health Foundation:

 

 

 

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. Its aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. The Foundation learns what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, it shines a light on how to make successful change happen.

It make links between the knowledge it gains from working with those delivering health and health care and its research and analysis. The Foundation’s aspiration is to create a virtuous circle, using what it knows works on the ground to inform effective policymaking and vice versa. It believes good health and health care are key to a flourishing society. Through sharing what it learns, collaborating with others and building people’s skills and knowledge, it aims to make a difference and contribute to a healthier population.

About Health Economics Consulting (HEC):

 

 

 

 

Established over twenty years ago HEC, based at UEA, is a member of one of the largest Health Economics groups in the country with a reputation for ground-breaking work in the economics of public health; economic modelling; economic evaluation methods alongside clinical trials; and quality of life measurement.

HEC is a commercial consulting company inside an academic environment set up in 2011 due to rising demand from NHS and other public bodies. We are fully owned and supported by UEA (UEA Consulting Ltd) based at Norwich Medical School, UEA, within a large Health Economics (HE) group (~25 researchers and PhD students). HEC is a non-profit organisation and its profits are reinvested in Medical Education.

 

For further information about the Health Foundation see: http://www.health.org.uk/about-us

For further information about HEC see: https://www.uea.ac.uk/health-economics-consulting/about-us

For further information about Health Economics at UEA see: http://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine/research/health-economics or contact Dr Karen Smith at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk, telephone +44 (0)1603 593 147

The Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences shines at the UEA Innovation & Impact Awards 2018

Congratulations to the FMH faculty who were finalists at the UEA Innovation and Impact Awards 2018. Particularly to Dr John Ford, Prof Andy Jones and Prof Nichols Steel who won the award for ‘Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare’. The awards were designed to recognise those who go above and beyond their roles in higher education. The ceremony itself, was held at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts on the 1st of February and was hosted by the university’s chancellor Karen Jones CBE.

Its categories included those who have made outstanding impacts in culture, health and technology, with finalists including professors, doctors, lecturers and both former and current UEA students.

Professor Fiona Lettice, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Chair of the judging panel, said: “We presented these awards to celebrate the success and impact of UEA’s pioneering research and innovation, delivered by our amazing staff and students with a range of fantastic external collaborators.

“These awards celebrated the many productive partnerships within and beyond the university that enable such excellent research and innovation outcomes.”

Professor Laura Bowater, Associate Dean for Innovation, FMH said: “At UEA, we have many talented staff and students who are using their expertise to generate outstanding societal and economic impact on a local, national and international scale. Being part of the judging panel was a real privilege and I am delighted that this award ceremony highlighted and celebrated these innovative projects.”

FMH Award Winners and Finalists:

Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare

This award recognises impacts of research and innovation which have made changes in practice, guidelines and procedures in the healthcare sector, leading to real world improvements to quality f life for vulnerable individuals or groups.

Winner: Dr John Ford (MED) ‘Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services’

Most policy initiatives to improve access to GP services target the whole population, such as an extended seven day opening. However research suggests that targeted services are needed for high risk groups, including those in rural areas and the elderly.

Research led by Dr Ford is exploring access to primary care for these marginalised groups, in particular vulnerable older people, and their findings are influencing NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP Practices and Local Authorities across England and internationally to reduce these inequalities. The project has already formed the basis of a national NHS England resource to reduce inequalities, it has supported integration of transport and health services in Norfolk, and has contributed to the service redesign of a Local Health Integrated Network team in Ontario, Canada.

Finalist: Dr Lee Hooper (MED) ‘Recognising Dehydration in older people’

Dehydration is a frequent problem in elderly individuals admitted to hospital and residing in long term care homes. Research led by Dr Hooper has shown that 20% of older people living in residential care in Norfolk are dehydrated. Unfortunately, accurate and effective tools to record drinks intakes are limited and often time consuming.

In response to this, Dr Hooper’s team have developed a novel, self-reporting ‘Drink’s Diary’. The diary has already been downloaded by hundreds of users for free. As a unique self-reporting tool, it empowers older adults in long-term care, increases awareness of the importance of fluid intake, indicates a need for interventions supporting drinking in older adults, and contributes towards optimal care in the elderly.

Outstanding Commercialisation of Technology

This award recognises innovations that have demonstrated outstanding use and exploitation of technology, including projects that have commercially licensed intellectual property to industry partners, and those who have formed UEA start-up companies to exploit intellectual property.

Finalist: Dr Justin O'Grady (MED) ‘Pathogen DNA enrichment for metagenomic sequencing based diagnostics’

Over 100, 00 people suffer bloodstream infections annually in the UK. These infections often lead to hospitalisation and identifying the cause of the disease using current testing methods can take a long time. While waiting for the results, patients often receive inappropriate therapy.

Led by Dr O’Grady, the technique developed enables clinical scientists to separate the small amount of bacterial DNA in clinical samples from the large amount of human DNA. The bacterial DNA can then be sequenced to identify which pathogen is causing the infection and which antibiotic will kill it, all in a much faster timeframe than current methods (less than 6 hours compared to 48 hours). The patent for this technology has been filed, leading the way to better treatment for people with severe infections and more sustainable antibiotic use in the NHS.

Consultancy Project of the Year

This award recognises outstanding consultancy projects that clearly demonstrate a commercial, social, health or cultural impact beyond academia.         

Finalist: Prof Richard Fordham (MED) ‘Home blood pressure monitoring in a hypertensive pregnant population: cost effectiveness analysis’

Hypertensive disorders complicate up to 10% of pregnancies, remaining one of the leading causes of direct maternal deaths worldwide. Therefore, increased blood pressure monitoring in hypertensive pregnant women is required, resulting in frequent hospital visits.

St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust consulted with Prof Fordham’s team to develop a cost-effective mobile application ‘HAMPTON’ that allows women to log their blood pressure readings from home and transmit the results directly to the Hospital’s doctors who are able to provide immediate advice in case of abnormal readings. The project has reduced unnecessary appointments, improving the efficiency of the Fetal Unit at St George’s and was nominated as one of five finalists in the Health innovation category of the British Medical Journal Awards 2017.      

If you have been inspired by what you have read and would like to find out how you can work with UEA to make an impact, contact Dr Karen Smith at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk, telephone +44 (0)1603 593 147 to find out more. This could be in the form of consultancy, funded research, student internships, or your own idea for a project – and we often have funding available to help get projects started.

UEA students win Young Entrepreneurs Scheme competition

A team of Pharmacy PhD students from the UEA has won both the Biotechnology YES Prize and People’s Choice Award at the national Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition final hosted by the Royal Society on Tuesday 12 December.  

YES is designed to develop business awareness and an understanding of entrepreneurship in UK postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. This goal is achieved through a competition where the participants prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company in one of three categories, Biotechnology, Engineering and Environment.  

The UEA winning team, CryoThaw, came up with a way to improve heart transplant procedures by cryopreserving them and then “reanimating” them back to a viable state. Cryopreserving is a way of freezing something without causing it damage so it can be restored and reused, a process that would allow for extended heart storage times and improved post-transplantation outcomes for patients.  

At the final, CyroThaw had to pitch their idea and the business plan to a panel of investors. The pitch had to address all areas of the business including a financial strategy, IP strategy and marketing. They won £2,500, a trophy and invitations to the BioIndustry Association’s gala dinner.  

Lucka Bibic, CEO at CyroThaw, said: “I am so delighted for the whole team, the success of CyroThaw was definitely down to our team effort. YES17 was a fantastic chance to network and a great opportunity to learn how to think like an entrepreneur. Now we can hopefully apply and further develop these skills in our future career paths.”  

Another Norwich Research Park (NRP) team, Active Plant Protection, were also successful at the final as team member Sophie Harrington won the Best Presenter Award.    

Dr Karen Smith, Relationship Manager for Medical & Life Sciences at UEA said: “I really enjoyed working as the YES mentor this year for both UEA and the NRP. I am extremely proud of both the teams for making it to the final and winning prizes on the night. It is a reflection of their entrepreneurial spirit and all their hard work and enthusiasm. It is also a result of the strong focus on innovation at UEA.”

ABPI LINC - a new scheme for university-pharmaceutical industry collaboration

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (APBI) has created a new initiative called ‘ABPI LINC’ to increase the level of engagement between pharmaceutical companies and universities. ABPI LINC (Library of Initiatives for Novel Collaborations) allows academic researchers to search for open opportunities for collaboration with the biopharmaceutical industry.

You can search ABPI LINC by research stage (preclinical/clinical), type of collaboration or resource (e.g. sharing compounds, resources, funding, investigator led studies), disease area (e.g. infectious disease), or company. Further information can be found on their website.

Collaboration between universities, hospitals and industry is vital for delivery of new therapies for patients. And the LINC tool is a useful new resource for identifying collaborative opportunities with the biopharmaceutical industry.” Dr Karen Smith. If you are in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and need assistance in making connections with the biopharmaceutical industry, please contact Karen (Email: Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk, Tel: 01603 593147)

UEA attends Parliamentary Reception at the House of Lords

On 15 November 2017, Dr Karen Smith attended the Tomorrow’s Company Parliamentary Reception at the House of Lords. (Tomorrow’s Company is an independent non-profit think tank that inspires and enables business to be a force for good in society). The event, held in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace was hosted by Lord Haskel, Deputy Speaker of the Lords.
 
Introductions were made by James Wates CBE, Chairman, Tomorrow’s Company and the keynote speaker was Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage (a FTSE 100 company) who discussed business over the next decade. He particularly focused how the 4th industrial revolution is impacting incumbent businesses and how businesses will have to adapt and operate in order to thrive in the long term. Stephen called on the global tech community to take responsibility for the ethical development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for business and discussed the company’s approach encapsulated in “The Ethics of Code” - which involves developing AI for Business with five core principles. Further details can be found here: https://www.sage.com/~/media/group/files/business-builders/business-builders-ethics-of-code.pdf?la=en
 
The impressive guest list included senior leaders from a wide array companies such as; Anglian Water, Aviva, CISCO, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Shell, TTP and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Karen was able to have meetings with existing industry contacts and open dialogue with new companies. She has expertise in working with a wide range of organisations and an in-depth knowledge of UEA and the NRP helping external organisations to define their interests, needs and objectives for interaction with us and she works with them to develop a plan of action.  For UEA staff (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Schools of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Pharmacy), she can recommend, facilitate and scope customised interactions with external organisations that will help both staff and the organisation to meet key objectives.

If you would like to find out more please contact her at Karen.L.Smith@uea.ac.uk

Launch of Science Museum ‘Superbugs’ exhibition sponsored by UEA

A new Science Museum exhibition that puts the spotlight on antibiotic resistance is being sponsored by UEA.

‘Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives’ highlights the urgent need to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which, without action, will lead to advanced medical treatments such as chemotherapy and major surgery all but disappearing.

Part of the Superbugs exhibition

The official launch took place on the 8th November 2017 and was attended by Prof Fiona Lettice, Prof Dylan Edwards, Prof Laura Bowater and Dr Karen Smith. The exhibition features leafcutter ants that Prof Matt Hutchings group from UEA are studying. The ants farm their own natural antibiotics, used to protect themselves and their nest, from bacteria that grow on their bodies. Antibiotics produced by this bacteria can kill superbugs such as MRSA, without MRSA developing resistance to them and there is the hope they can be developed for future drug use.


Over 200 guest attended and these included the other sponsors; Pfizer, Shionogi and RUCK as well as the ABPI, BBC News, BBSRC, Daily Telegraph, CBS, GSK, J&J, MRC, Nature, NHS England, various NHS Trusts, NESTA, PwC, Reuters, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health, Sky News, Tesco and various universities and science societies.

They heard from Ian Blatchford, Chief Executive of the Science Museum; Erik Nordkamp, Managing Director of Pfizer UK; Lord Jim O’Neill former government minister and leading economist and Angela Rippon, television journalist, newsreader, writer and presenter, whose live was saved by antibiotics.

After a year of hard work, the Superbugs exhibition is ready for its first museum visitors to explore the hidden world of bacteria and the threat antibiotic resistance poses to our health.

http://sciencemuseum.org.uk/superbugs 

https://www.uea.ac.uk

Should you have any questions regarding antibiotic resistance research at UEA please contact:

Prof Laura Bowater, Norwich Medical School (01603 591941)
Dr Karen Smith, Research and Innovation Services (01603 593147)


 

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