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Ulster University today announced a £2m investment in a new Health Technology Hub, which will centralise core expertise to support rapid development of new healthcare technology with strong input from clinicians.

Located within the Nanotechnology & Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) in the School of Engineering at Ulster University, the Hub will access expertise from the Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC), the BioDevices Lab, the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) and the Centre for Advanced Cardiovascular Research (CACR).

The University is supporting the Health Technology Hub, which will create four new posts, with a £2m investment.

Speaking at the launch, Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paddy Nixon, said:

“Ulster University has a longstanding history of excellence in medical and health-related research. We are one of the top ten universities in the UK for world-leading research in biomedical engineering and in recent years we have secured over £20m of funding for health technology research.

“Our research has resulted in the development of wearable medical sensors and implantable devices, and has improved drug therapy and rapid diagnostics. These advances are helping to move care out of hospitals and into the home, reducing pressure on the healthcare system.

“This new Health Technology Hub further enhances our ability to carry out pioneering research which could result in life-changing and life-saving technology and make a global impact on healthcare costs.”

The new hub will enable doctoral researchers from ECME to collaborate with industry-led researchers from CHIC and clinicians from CACR. The rapid prototyping BioDevices Lab will provide equipment which can facilitate the conversion of ideas into working demonstrators in a matter of hours.

Professor Jim McLaughlin, Director of NIBEC at Ulster University, said:

“Medical advancement in the 20th and 21st centuries has contributed to an increase in life expectancy globally, but that also means an increase in the number of people with multiple chronic conditions. Consequently, to sustain and improve healthcare provision to meet this global challenge, we must accelerate the development of new healthcare technology.

“Ulster University is at the forefront of multi-disciplinary research in nanotechnology, advanced materials, integrated smart sensors, smart computing algorithms and data analytics to provide new technology that is already changing patients’ care-pathways.

“By bringing together knowledge and expertise within the new Health Technology Hub, we hope to improve research outcomes, optimise the potential of collaboration between researchers from industry and academia and put Ulster University in a strong position to bid for new research funding in the international health technology."