International alliance formed to drive knowledge exchange and innovation

The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Canadian healthy ageing experts to drive knowledge exchange, innovation and support research collaboration between Canada and the North of England.

Ageing populations are a global challenge for developed countries and healthy ageing has been identified as one of the UK Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges.

This MOU brings together a range of Canadian organisations with a group of member institutions and stakeholders of the NHSA  to form the Canadian and Northern England Multi-Organisation Collaboration on Healthy Ageing, which will identify and address key challenges and opportunities around ageing through knowledge exchange, research partnerships and commercial collaboration.

Nicola Wilson, interim chief executive officer of the NHSA, said: “Addressing the needs of our ageing population is a key area of activity for the NHSA and sharing knowledge in healthy ageing with our international colleagues will be key to global health improvement moving forward.

“This MoU represents a fantastic opportunity for the North of England to work with our Canadian peers to help drive forward innovation within the field of healthy ageing.

“The North of England boasts world-class universities, research institutes, academics, clinicians and researchers and we’re thrilled to work with such expertise within the region and to learn and share ideas with our partners in Canada, who are doing ground-breaking work around ageing.”

The MoU follows an inward Canadian mission to the North of England late last year, hosted by the NHSA and supported by the Foreign & Commonwealth (FCO) Science and Innovation Network (SIN).

The Canadian organisations involved in the agreement are: Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation; Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence; McMaster University on behalf of McMaster Institute for Research on Aging; University of Waterloo; and Simon Fraser University STAR Institute.

Ine Wauben, managing director, McMaster Institute for Research on Aging & Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, said: “We look forward to working with the NHSA in order to advance research in aging and shared initiatives related to our aging population at an international scale.”

The aim of the MoU is to share knowledge in research and development of health tech acceleration and technology adoption, build relationships and research partnership opportunities to address international challenges and to create potential channels for future commercial collaboration.

Photo: NHSA and Canadian representatives at BIO 2019: (L-R) George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge Director, UK Research and Innovation; Professor Jennifer Boger Director, Intelligent Technology for Wellness and Independent Living (ITWIL) lab, Schlegel Chair in Technology for Independent Living, Research Institute for Aging, Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada; Professor David J Burn FMedSci, Chair of the Northern Health Science Alliance, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University Medical School, UK; Keith Miller, Head of Corporate engagement NHSA.


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