A PIONEERING organisation has moved into Runcorn’s world class science centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury.

North West Coast Academic Health Science Network plans to expand at the site’s flagship enterprise zone, Vanguard House, and and recruit 10 new staff this year.

The organisation is one of 15 academic health science networks in England and works as part of the NHS to enable innovative products to spread quickly and successfully, by supporting would-be suppliers with practical and strategic advice and support as they look to tap into the market.

Chief executive Dr Liz Mear said: “Innovation and collaboration are a key part of the campus’ culture and that is an ethos which strongly matches our own. Our aspiration is to see the Academic Health Science Network and Sci-Tech Daresbury become a centre of health care innovation of national and international repute and we’re very excited about what the future holds for the organisation.

“The product life-cycle from research to widespread use in a patient care setting is an arduous one, which can often take around 17 years.

“Becoming an NHS supplier can involve complex procurement processes which are often difficult for smaller businesses to negotiate. Our role is to speed up that process and ensure that companies with innovative products or concepts are supported in their journey to develop their products and services for use by the NHS more quickly and more widely.”

The Network provides strategic advice to businesses with products which would work in the NHS on how to access the market.

Philip Dylak, director of innovation, said: “There are a lot of pioneering technologies being developed at Sci-Tech Daresbury, particularly in the healthcare area and we’re looking forward to connecting with these businesses. We’re also interested in looking at companies which don’t currently work in the health sphere, and may not even be aware of how their technology could be applied in health.”

The Network specialises in five key areas, including tele-health, personalised medicine, neurosciences, infection and tropical medicine, and procurement.

John Leake, Sci-Tech Daresbury business development manager, said: “North West Coast AHSN is an organisation which plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of innovation into the UK healthcare system and we’re delighted to welcome the company to Vanguard House.

“The north west is a key player in the healthcare sector and Sci-Tech Daresbury is no exception, with a number of tenant companies pioneering the development of revolutionary products, applications and services.

“This is a move which will allow the North West Coast AHSN to tap into a thriving community where innovation and collaboration are key. It will no doubt enable the creation of new partnerships and spearhead the use of new technologies into the NHS.”