SW AHSN Helps to Secure £3,410,000 of Funding to Support Digital Health Innovation in Cornwall

The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) has recently supported the E-Health Productivity & Innovation in Cornwall (EPIC) bid, which has secured European Regional Development funding via the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.

EPIC will use a user-led approach to developing digital health in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, working with GPs and care homes to help articulate key challenges and local SMEs to develop new solutions to resolve these issues. A £600,000 challenge fund will be available to assist the development of digital health solutions for utilisation within the health and care sector, leading to economic growth and productivity.

The collaborative bid was led by the Plymouth University, with partners SW AHSN, Creative England, Kernow Health, Cornwall Partners in Care and Patients Association. The bid secured £2,730,000 of the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership’s funding, with the remaining £680,000 comprising of match funding from the bid partners and SMEs participating in the project.

Stuart Monk, Interim Director of Innovation of the SW AHSN said: “It is fantastic news that our network member Plymouth University has led the EPIC bid securing European funding. The SW AHSN looks forward to continuing our support for the innovative project, which will do great work in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.”

Project director, Ray Jones, Professor of E-Health at Plymouth University, said: “This is a great opportunity for Cornwall to become a centre of excellence in the use of technology for health and social care. It involves people with a range of expertise from across the University, including nursing, medicine, psychology, robotics, business, and public health, working with numerous collaborators across Cornwall and taking a ‘bottom up’ approach to find or develop technologies that will improve services.

“The project involves an international link with universities in Brisbane Australia. At the end of three years we hope to have found new ways in which Cornwall can ‘export’ its expertise or services to the rest of the UK or beyond while also effectively delivering health and social care for the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Dr Dan Rainbow from Stennack Surgery in St Ives explains why the project will be beneficial for the county: “After 15 years of working with patients in this community, it’s obvious that there are gaps in certain areas where I’m sure technology has a role to play in helping to support our patients,” he said.

I think technology has had a fairly chequered history in the NHS over the years, and it’s exciting to work with people who understand the technology to build up a way of working with our patients from the grass roots upwards to make it work in practice.”

If you are interested in finding out more about EPIC, please visit https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/epic

If you are searching for or responding to a health and care funding opportunity and would like to find out more about how the SW AHSN can support you then please contact David Wright, Bid Development Manager via email: david.wright@swahsn.com or telephone: 01392 247903.

The project is receiving up to £2.7m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

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