Business 17.01.24

Sheffield Hallam signs MoU to help make Jeju Island ‘healthiest place to live in Asia’

Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with representatives from the South Korean island of Jeju to help make it the ‘healthiest place to live in Asia’.
A delegation from Jeju National University, the Jeju Regional Innovation Platform and Jeju Free International City Development Center visited Sheffield Hallam University on Monday 15 January. They were given a tour of the AWRC and the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park before signing two MoUs.
The collaboration will focus on challenges the AWRC seeks to address that affect both regions – promoting lifelong physical activity, reducing health inequalities, address climate action, reduce skills gaps and reimagine rehabilitation.
Jeju Island, the southern-most point of South Korea, has a volcano at its centre and a population of around 700,000 in two cities. It is listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site and is designated as a special self-governing province.
Potential research and innovation projects that could be progressed as part of the collaboration include the establishment of a satellite Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre on Jeju Island, the development of digital health tools for the Jeju population and the evaluation of long-term health interventions on the island.
Professor Steve Haake OBE, Director of Engagement at the AWRC, led the collaboration with Jeju.
Prof Haake said: “The collaboration with Jeju Island represents an exciting opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of the Jeju population. The next five-year strategy for the AWRC focuses on tackling global challenges through the lens of human movement, and the collaboration with Jeju represents a tangible opportunity to extend the international impact of the AWRC.
“The centre’s mission to transform lives through innovations that help people move will be at the heart of the collaboration and I very much look forward to working with colleagues in South Korea over the coming months.”
Sheffield Hallam Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Mossop signed the MoUs on behalf of the University during the visit.
Prof Mossop said: “The AWRC is one of the jewels of the region and it’s fantastic that this is recognised across the world. Our university mission is to transform lives and we hope that this collaboration will improve the health of both our region and Jeju in South Korea. I look forward to the successes that the next four years of research collaboration with Jeju will bring.”
The delegation from Jeju was led by Professor Eel-hwan Kim, President of Jeju National University.
Prof Eel-hwan Kim said: “We are delighted to be visiting the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield. There are lots of similarities between Sheffield and Jeju in South Korea – excellence in research, tourism and sport. We also have an aspiration for our regions to be the healthiest places to live in the world – this is why we have chosen to invest in a four-year collaborative research programme with the AWRC.”
The £16 million Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move. Its mission is to prevent and treat chronic disease through co-designed research into physical activity, whilst also attracting new jobs and investment to the region.