Business 29.06.23

Sheffield Hallam University announces Health Innovation Campus vision

Sheffield Hallam University has launched ambitious new plans for a Health Innovation Campus based at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, announced at the Northern Powerhouse Education, Employment and Skills Summit (NPEESS).

The Sheffield Hallam Health Innovation Campus builds on the University’s existing presence at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and will support the University’s ambitions to explore investment and partnerships for future development opportunities, including:

• An Advanced Health and Care Skills Centre: Meeting the challenge of creating a modern health and care workforce with cutting edge training facilities and expertise
• A Nursery of the Future: A national and global beacon for advanced ideas, technologies and best practice in early childhood education, family support and health, including a community-based research and teaching nursery
• Sheffield Hallam Health Acceleration Programme (SHAPe): A holistic business accelerator proposition which offers pre-revenue, start-up and SME accelerator activity and expertise to participating companies

The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is already home to Sheffield Hallam’s £14m Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) and the £10.5m National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) – with over two hundred researchers from across the University co-located on the site from health, sport, design, engineering, computing and social sciences.

There is also a new £4m South Yorkshire Digital Health Hub in partnership with University of Sheffield, the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, the Active Together programme, the AWRC Wellbeing Accelerator, and partnerships with the National Centre for Child Health Technology, English Institute of Sport and Canon Medical Community Arena.

The University’s ambition for the Health Innovation Campus is to unlock new external inward investment and create the most advanced cluster for health, wellbeing and sustainability in the world, building capacity in skills, research, innovation, business support and community engagement.

It will play a key role in helping the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park realise its internationally recognised potential, and in boosting South Yorkshire’s identity as a global hub for health and wellbeing innovation.

Through existing facilities, people and partnerships, and new potential developments, the interdisciplinary campus will focus on the entire human lifespan: from maternal, infant care and early years education to healthy and active ageing. It will integrate subject areas including health, care, biosciences, robotics, food engineering, nutrition, education, sport, social science, business, design and computing.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Our vision set out today shows how the University will build on its presence at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, bringing together more leading academics from across health-related disciplines to tackle some of societies biggest health related challenges.”

“The Sheffield Hallam Health Innovation Campus will transform lives locally and globally through research innovation, and skills development in health, sport, and sustainability.”

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Enterprise at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has grown to become a huge asset for South Yorkshire’s knowledge-based economy, with partners working together to attract new investment and bring about significant regeneration.

“The site is already home to some of our world class research centres and other outstanding education and community facilities. We want to build on this foundation to create one of the most advanced cluster for health, wellbeing, and sustainability in the world.

“As well as providing a model for regional investment and economic growth that brings about tangible benefits for the community, the Health Innovation Campus will help cement Sheffield and South Yorkshire’s place on the map as a centre for health research and innovation.”

Current initiatives from the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre demonstrate how investment in health can drive economic prosperity by bringing together academia, industry and healthcare providers, such as its Active Together cancer prehab and rehab programme with Yorkshire Cancer Research.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “I am determined that South Yorkshire will become the healthiest region in the country, but right now we’re all too far from that goal. Addressing the myriad challenges we face will take work from partners right across South Yorkshire, but the work being done by Sheffield Hallam University – exemplified by this vision – is an example of how partners in our region are answering that call.

“The scale and scope of Sheffield Hallam’s ambition doesn’t just meet the challenges of South Yorkshire’s health inequalities, it offers the potential for world leading facilities to respond to global problems through health research and innovation. I couldn’t be more pleased to see the development of this vision and I look forward to seeing the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park continue to flourish and grow.”

Chris Low, Chief Executive at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is delighted that Sheffield Hallam is signalling this ambition to intensify its activities and presence on the Park. The university has offered unwavering support to the Park for many years from being a founding partner through to this expansive intent to increase economic and social impact.”

Professor Toni Schwarz, Dean for the College of Health Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam prides itself on being one of the biggest and best providers of healthcare training in the country, with more than 8,000 students across our Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences College.

“The vision for a Health Innovation Campus shows our ambition to create a globally leading life-long learning centre, working with our partners such as the NHS. From early years to post-18 skills, and postgraduate research to continual professional development, our vision encompasses the full span of the skills and innovation life cycle.”

The announcement was made during a Sheffield Hallam NPEESS breakfast briefing, featuring a panel of influential industry representatives including science and health writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry OBE, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard, and Lord Simon Stevens, former chief executive of the NHS.

The theme for this year’s annual NPEESS conference, hosted at the University, is ‘Unlocking potential – going for growth’ and features key speakers from across the education, employment and skills policy sector – including Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan MP; Mayors Andy Burnham, Tracy Brabin and Oliver Coppard, and former Secretary of State for Education Lord David Blunkett.

Professor Toni Schwarz, Oliver Coppard, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vivienne Parry OBE, Professor Kevin Kerrigan