Bid to make NW health tech leader

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A new initiative designed to make the north west a leader in health innovation was launched in Derry yesterday morning.

The North West Health Innovation Corridor was launched in Da Vinci’s Hotel, Derry, by Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson.

The launch was also attended by the President of the Massachusetts State Senate, Therese Murray, a delegation of representatives from leading pharmaceutical companies, representatives from the University of Ulster and other third-level institutions in the north west, and senior civil servants from the department of health.

The cross-border initiative aims to create a centre of excellence in health innovation in the north west, as well as stimulating the economy and creating a substantial number of high tech jobs. It will also foster closer links with both Boston, a market leader in health innovation, and the European Union.

Speaking at the launch, Ms Anderson said; “By 2020 the Northwest Health Innovation Corridor expects to be internationally recognised as a health and social sciences research and innovation zone, responding to the challenges of delivering healthcare in the 21st century.

“In achieving that vision, we aim to create sustainable growth in employment in the health innovation sector while also targeting employment towards the most deprived groups in our communities, and we aim to create improvements in health and social well-being that will address health inequalities in the northwest through the utilisation of the most advanced technology on offer.

“The development of a health innovation sector, through the Northwest Health Innovation Corridor, will have the two-fold impact of addressing inequalities in health and of promoting economic growth.”

Ms Anderson also told the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies that the new initiative makes Derry an excellent location for investment.