9th March 2021
Health innovation collaborations must be more transparent and diverse if they are to become drivers of post-Brexit economic growth
Academic and clinician-led collaborations, making up part of the health innovation landscape across the UK, are hard to find and lack diversity – if you can find any publicly available data on them in the first place.
Enterprise in Health, a new report released today by Future Care Capital, has examined the extent to which a subset of academics and clinicians are involved in enterprise activity, and has found identifying those involved to be extremely challenging. The report also found that the health innovation landscape is heavily male dominated, with 80-90% of the companies found being linked to men.
In addition to this, only a very limited geographical overlap between the sectors of universities and NHS trusts was identified, despite the stated need for collaboration between different aspects of the R&D ecosystem.
Innovation and enterprise in the healthcare sector has long been a priority of the current government and those before it. The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy described it as a key sector for consolidating UK economic success post-Brexit, only behind the US globally in terms of health R&D investment. The Chancellor announced plans in 2020 plans to increase investment to £22bn per year by 2024-5, to make the UK a ‘science superpower’ and a more attractive place for entrepreneurs to invest and operate.
The report recommends an appropriate body to have access to information about the financial interests of clinicians, linked to the General Medical Council register. It also recommends that Academic Health Science Networks extend their current focus on diversity in innovation to put greater emphasis on encouraging and supporting women.
Dr Josefine Magnusson, Senior Research Officer at FCC, said:
“Today’s report builds on our previous work, particularly around exploring the potential to leverage NHS data for the purposes of research and innovation in healthcare.
“We believe this area ought to be explored further, not only to compare our findings against enterprising activities in less prolific and research intense Trusts and universities, but also to assess the performance of support for enterprise and innovation for the Government’s levelling up agenda.”
For more information or interviews, please contact CJ Marshall at Future Care Capital on 020 3909 3704.
Notes to editors
The report used a novel and explorative approach, using publicly available data to better understand the contribution that academics and clinicians who work for universities and NHS Trusts deemed like to be involved in healthcare innovation currently make.
About FCC – Future Care Capital is a charity that undertakes research to advance ideas that will help shape future health and social care policy and deliver better outcomes for individuals living in the UK. Beginning life as the National Nursery Examination Board in 1945, the charity has evolved throughout its 70-year history and we continue to have Her Majesty the Queen as our Royal Patron.