Following planning consent from the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus is on track to open in 2023. Quadrant Health spoke to Dr Steve Taylor, Strategic Director of BHIC and David Hardman, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech to learn more about the campus and what it will bring to the region.
Previously known as the Birmingham Life Sciences Park, the new Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC) is due to open in late 2023. The campus will harness world-leading academic and clinical strengths, placing the West Midlands firmly in the life sciences arena.
Speaking of the partnership, Dr Steve Taylor said, “I think the importance then of bringing in a private sector partner such as Bruntwood SciTech is the vision and capabilities that they bring as a private sector partner.”
Along with Bruntwood SciTech, the university is working with local NHS Trusts to combat health challenges in the NHS through research and innovation.
“It’s a really critical partnership and it’s the one where health and life sciences really does drive the translation of new ideas from the academic community through to development in the business community into the NHS and exporting across the globe,” said Steve.
Supporting the partnership and construction of the campus, David Hardman explained the critical role other organisations in the region have played: “It isn’t just a partnership between the University, the hospital and Bruntwood. It’s part of a bigger picture that’s supported by the council, the LEP and the Combined Authority. That will help ensure it happens – if everyone is not on the same page, then there would be issues,” he said.
It’s part of a bigger picture that’s supported by the council, the LEP and the Combined Authority.
This support from the Combined Authority has been crucial. Steve told Quadrant Health: “We’ve just received the planning consent to move forward on that on time – that’s a great bit of news for the site.”
An ‘exciting ecosystem’ for business
The Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will be the only science park in the region dedicated to health and life sciences. It will provide cutting-edge innovation facilities building on healthcare data, genomics medicine and diagnostics, medical technologies and clinical trials.
We’re creating really is a very exciting ecosystem for businesses
“What we’re creating really is a very exciting ecosystem for businesses to come and co-locate into a very mature, clinical, academic community that already exists working between the trusts and the university,” explained Steve.
Led by a strategic health partnership, Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), the campus creates opportunities for transformative collaborations between businesses, the University and NHS partners. The BHP is made up of the University, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Speaking to Quadrant Health, David explained: “The whole idea is to create something that has depth and opportunity for businesses, both ones that are inward investment, but also finding ways of supporting and growing local businesses that are coming out of the university, the hospitals or indeed other businesses in the region.”
As a pioneering and globally significant location, BHIC will bring together outstanding researchers, clinicians, policymakers in the life sciences industry. This will rapidly translate scientific and clinical insights into patient benefit and economic growth.
Transforming Birmingham through health innovation
Not only will the campus bring business opportunity to the region, it will also help with the city’s regeneration following the pandemic.
“Bruntwood has a view that as a business for it to thrive, the cities it’s in needs to thrive,” said David. Through drop creation and innovation, the campus will boost the city as they emerge from the pandemic.
He added, “The knowledge economy has the opportunity to transform a city like Birmingham.”
The knowledge economy has the opportunity to transform a city like Birmingham
Rounding up their discussion with Quadrant Health, Steve said: “We are one of the youngest regions in the country and most diverse as well. That brings a whole new raft of opportunity, that diversity and youth element really adds vibrancy to the place that other cities perhaps don’t necessarily always have to hand.”
A 10-year master plan will be developed for the Campus. This will provide up to 700,000 sq. ft of a state-of-the-art lab, office and incubation space acting as a catalyst for the growth of the Midlands’ life sciences sector.
Excitingly, BHIC is set to create over 10,000 new jobs and contribute £400m GVA to the regional economy by 2030.