This is a model which Sheffield City Region LEP chair James Muir believes the rest of the UK should be following: “Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park brings together a unique partnership of organisations with a vested interest in improving physical activity and wellbeing and a commitment to harnessing the power of research and innovation to deliver transformational change.
“As a country we need to be investing much more in research and development and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a brilliant example of how we can remodel transferable technology to create a home-based engine of economic growth as we move into an uncertain post-Covid world.
“The University Technology College on the Park has an employer-led curriculum supported by Sheffield’s two universities and over 70 employer partners – equipping the workforce of the future with clinical and technical skills in Health Sciences, Sport Science, and Computing.
“They are right next to a hot bed of world-renowned researchers working with Governments, national and international organisations as well as a growing army of innovators – a model which fits into our regional strategic economic vision of an Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District.”
Sheffield has the potential to become a living laboratory for understanding the healthcare implications of coronavirus – both as a model for a more integrated healthcare system but also as a research base for studying the rehabilitation needs of people recovering from Covid-19.
The National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), that has its research hub based in the AWRC, is implementing whole-system approaches to increasing physical activity across the population. The NCSEM sites support the NHS to deliver 90,000 clinical appointments a year in facilities that make it easier for patients and staff to become physically active and could be a major post-Coronavirus testbed.
Professor Robert Copeland, AWRC & NCSEM Director, said: “For the last decade, people and organisations across Sheffield have been working together to transform the way we think about population health. As a system we are moving towards an innovative and integrated model for the delivery of health care services, placing the person at the centre and making it easier for people to be physically active as part of everyday life.
“The opportunity for transformational change has never been more apparent. We have the opportunity, indeed the necessity to remodel the way we live, work, play and provide health and care services. Sheffield has the right mix of skills, experience, innovation, leadership and vision to be a global leader in population health research. This shift towards a wellbeing centred economy is what will drive growth and improve the health and happiness of residents across our region.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park brings together a unique partnership of public institutions who have a vested interest in improving public health and delivering a better future for all through transformational research, innovation and applied technology.
Other future developments on the Park could also play a part in the recovery programme of the Covid 19 crisis – these include Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s 40,000 sq. ft. Centre for Child Health Technology, which will bring together experts in health, academia and industry to develop cutting edge technologies and advanced healthcare for children, and an Innovation and Enterprise Centre for start-up and scale-up businesses.
Mr Caborn added: “We have a strategy to move forward. We are at the heart of Sheffield’s and the UK’s post pandemic road to recovery. We believe we are ahead of the game. Our model is what the UK needs and has already attracted the interest of government.”