New initiative launches to boost Northern Ireland science sector

A new collaborative initiative has been launched to help Northern Ireland’s life sciences sector thrive.

belfast.jpgLabelled as the UK’s newest life sciences asset, Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) was launched at the BIO reception in Philadelphia. The reception was hosted by the UK Department for International Trade, Invest Northern Ireland, the Welsh Government, BIA, AstraZeneca and the British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.
HIRANI will bring together academic, local government, clinical and life sciences constituencies to help advance Northern Ireland’s life sciences sector.

The initiative is designed to enable the sector to collectively promote itself nationally and internationally. It’s hoped that it will drive collaboration across the sector and provide an entrance to external collaborators seeking to partner with the region.

Welcoming the news, ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said: “Northern Ireland has long punched well above its weight in terms of life sciences innovation, particularly in the fields of respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.

Using robots in medicine today: Rehabilitation Robots. These play a crucial role in the recovery of people with disabilities, including improved mobility, strength, coordination, and quality of life. These robots can be programmed to adapt to the condition of each patient as they recover from strokes, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, or neurobehavioral or neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Virtual reality integrated with rehabilitation robots can also improve balance, walking, and other motor functions.

HIRANI will make it easier for its network of universities, industry, and health organisations to work together to achieve improved health and social care outcomes for Northern Ireland’s 1.8 million residents, as well as sustained economic growth for the region. “We look forward to playing an active role in partnering with HIRANI as we have in Greater Manchester, where a similar model has delivered 41 new life sciences collaborations over just two years.” BIA chief executive Steve Bates said: “By bringing together health care providers, research bodies, companies and supply chains, HIRANI will be ideally placed to identify and champion the exciting opportunities within the Northern Ireland life sciences ecosystem.

“This is further proof of the thriving life sciences sector in Northern Ireland and shows the diverse strength of the UK life sciences sector as a whole, where our global strength is underpinned by a world class research base and where innovative companies are working at the forefront of pioneering treatments for patients, across the nations of the UK.”

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