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West Midlands Health Technology Cluster takes next step towards realisation

A West Midlands Health Technology Cluster Organisation (HTCO) has taken an important step towards its formation after the creation of a new limited company to manage it and the appointment of its first two directors.

A not for profit company, limited by guarantee, has been formed with David Kidney as its Executive Chair and Tony Davis as its Secretary.

The limited company represents an important step in the HTCO’s development as it gives the cluster the ability to manage its assets as it grows by employing staff, managing funding and holding land interests such as office space.

David and Tony will be joined by new directors Professor Martin Levermore MBE DL and Dr Lisa Page.

Martin is a Senior Associate of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a Visiting Professor for Health, Education and Life Science at Birmingham City University (BCU) and is also an Honorary Consultant for Health Innovations with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. His work and research has been published widely in academic journals.

Lisa is currently a lawyer for Shoosmiths, who leads on pharmaceutical and life sciences practice and specialises in Intellectual Property. She also holds a PhD in molecular microbiology and has vast direct practical experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry gives her a sound understanding of the issues faced by clients in the Life Sciences’ sector.

Previously Lisa was a Project Manager for clinical trials and her legal experience includes working in-house for Coventry University.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) agreed to support a Life Sciences Cluster in the West Midlands in December 2019, and the initial set up phase of the HTCO is being funded by GBSLEP, the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) and Bruntwood SciTech

David Kidney, Executive Chair of the Health Care Technologies Organisation (HTCO), said:

Setting up a limited company to represent the cluster marks the first steps to creating a cluster which could have huge benefits in improving skills and encouraging collaboration in an extremely important and growing sector for the region.

“I’m also thrilled to welcome both Lisa and Martin to their new positions. Both bring extensive experience in the public and private sectors which will be invaluable to the cluster as it takes shape over the coming months. Health tech and life sciences has an important role to play in growing the West Midlands’ economy post Covid-19 and it’s exciting to be forming a new cluster to maximise the sector’s potential.

“We will appoint a further small number of directors to complete the company’s board in the coming months and it is important that we seek to reflect the nature, the diversity and the talent of the region within this process.”

Martin Levermore said:

The creation of this cluster is something which will pay enormous dividends for the life sciences and health tech sector within the West Midlands and I’m delighted to be able to add my experience and ideas to the cluster.

“The region is already home to some extremely talented businesses with huge growth potential, so to play a role in shaping the future of the sector within the region is a very exciting prospect indeed.”

Lisa Page said:

I’m delighted to be appointed to the burgeoning health tech cluster organisation and to utilise my experience within both the private and public sector as we start the journey of setting up this vehicle.

“The West Midlands and the health technologies sector is full of diverse talent and skills, bringing them together and maximising our assets via increased collaboration will be hugely advantageous to the region and both the businesses and residents within it.”

The new cluster will further strengthen Greater Birmingham and Solihull’s Life Sciences and Healthcare sector, which already boasts a number of leading businesses and facilities of national and international significance.

The region is already home to the largest national Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, one of six national Health Data Research UK sites, one of four Midlands & Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centres, the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre and Aston Brain Centre.

Plans are in motion for further advancement of the cluster, which is hoped to be fully operational in Spring 2021.