The Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator is a physical and intellectual space that brings together clinicians, citizens, academics, and technology companies. The aim of the HTA is to improve health and well-being for citizens, address system challenges and support the economic growth of SMEs, through harnessing the expertise of its partnership: Surrey Heartlands, University of Surrey, Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN, Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust and SETsquared Surrey.
Those who have visited the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator in person, and even those who have only seen it in photos, will know that the physical suite is something pretty special. Located on the first floor of the Surrey Clinical Research Building, we’re a modern and spacious digital lab, kitted out with a variety of medical and technological devices (a description that sounds very Location, Location, Location).
It’s a space that all the HTA partners are proud of and are grateful to the University of Surrey for providing, but especially to the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership, who, in 2019, supplied the capital grant to fund the refurbishment and set up of the HTA.
Along with the rest of the world, the wheels of the HTA came to a screeching halt with the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the last 12 months, since the world has started to reopen, we have made some great strides forward to mobilise the accelerator and start to bring some activity through the doors. With the completion of mobilisation, it was the perfect time to invite our colleagues from the EM3 LEP to come to the Health Tech Accelerator, see what we have done so far and where we’re planning to go in the future.
On the hottest day of the year so far, the HTA programme board and the centre team welcomed the EM3 LEP, wider colleagues within the partnership and some of our network partners to the accelerator. Kicking the morning off with a tour of the HTA and wider facilities within the Clinical Research Building, to really emphasise how the accelerator fits into the University of Surrey research infrastructure.
The HTA programme board and the LEP then sat down for the first session of the day focused on the strategic position of the HTA. Discussing how we work as a partnership and within the Surrey-wide health and care system, providing insight into the accelerator’s role as the vehicle of innovation within Surrey.
Strategy, however, needs action to back it up. So, session two saw the centre team bring the work happening within the HTA to life. We talked through the academic research work starting, system lead programmes of work and innovators that we’ve engaged with over the past year (which readers of our HTA Hotline will know about). And, in particular, we were delighted to welcome Adrian Flowerday from Docobo and Peter Reed-Forrester from Yorbl Technologies to talk about their innovations, how they will help solve the wicked issues within health and care, and why they chose the HTA to help develop these ideas. – We thank both of you for coming along to the day.
It was brilliant to welcome our LEP colleagues to the accelerator, and we truly appreciate them coming to the HTA, having thought-provoking conversations and sharing our excitement for the future of the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator. We look forward to inviting them back and showing what we’ve been up to another 12 months down the line.