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Leeds to establish the National MedTech Skills Academy

Date published: 23/01/18


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Leeds to establish the National MedTech Skills Academy

new drive to develop skills in the medical technologies sector will be led by the University of Leeds as part of a £6.1 million investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Leeds has been awarded £200k to create a National MedTech Skills Academy, a partnership between educational institutions and medical technologies companies in the Leeds City Region.

It will act as a centre of expertise to support this rapidly-growing sector, with an industrial advisory group helping identify the key skills needed at all levels, from technicians to PhD design.

The Academy consortium, including Leeds Beckett University and Bradford College, builds on a number of key existing strengths including the Leeds Academic Health Partnership and the Translate: Medical Technologies partnership.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “The National MedTech Skills Academy is a fine example of collaboration between universities, the NHS and industry. It is determined to develop the skills required to ensure that the Leeds City Region and the UK as a whole remains at the leading edge of research, innovation and the application of medical technologies for patient benefit.

“The catalyst funding from HEFCE recognises that the University of Leeds is a key player in this field, and is an important step in establishing a secure base for the development of new medical technologies.”

Professor John Fisher, who led the Government (BEIS)-sponsored Medical Technologies Science and Innovation Audit, will chair the group.

He said: “Developing people and skills across the sector is key part of the Leeds City Region Medtech innovation initiative. This catalyst award is a first step in addressing high level skills needs of the Medtech industry, which is expected to grow by 50 per cent in the next seven years”.

The Academy will enhance the skills base in order to support industry and encourage the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in the region. It will include:

  • An intensive graduate development programme to improve industry readiness, complemented by ongoing professional development for graduates entering the MedTech sector.
  • An enhanced internship and placement scheme, working with Leeds’ outstanding digital learning provision to offer online resources to support students during their time in industry.
  • The provision of new courses to encourage students from a wide range of STEM disciplines to consider a career in the MedTech sector.
  • Industry-led multidisciplinary projects that will bring engineers, product designers, scientists, medical and business students together to stimulate innovation.
  • The formation of a regional talent ‘pipeline’, through the more active promotion of the sector and job opportunities amongst young people and a feasibility study into the development of educational provision for mid-level technical professionals.

Over 30 universities and colleges in England have been awarded a share the £6.1 million by HEFCE.

The funding supports a range of student and HE sector priorities, including innovation in higher education, efficiency and effectiveness, skills and employability, and student interest issues.

Working with employers, the projects will help provide the skills needed in the future economy and support the aims of the Industrial Strategy.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: “This investment represents important support for the government’s Industrial Strategy. The funding will provide new courses and vital skill developments in key industrial sectors across the country, from which students, the workforce and employers all stand to benefit.”

Partnership with Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University is delighted to be part of this initiative to establish a MedTech Skills Academy for Leeds. This Academy will provide innovative medical technological skills training for undergraduate and postgraduate students across our Schools for Clinical and Applied Sciences and Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering equipping them for careers in the Medtech industry.

Dr Duncan Sharp, Dean of the School of Clinical & Applied Sciences said, ”This is a great opportunity to enhance the training for our students in key skills required for employment in the Medtech sector. This skills academy will not only enhance graduate employability, it will also address the shortfall in development of medical technologies in the Leeds City Region. Our Biomedical Sciences team are very excited to be part of this and are committed to supporting the success of this initiative”.

Professor Colin Pattinson, Dean of School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering said, “Advances in the application of computing techniques to digital health solutions mean this is an exciting time to be working at the convergence of these technologies. The School is delighted to be part of this project to support the further development of Medtech in the region.”

Further information

Contact the University of Leeds press office or call 0113 343 4031.

Read more about how research into innovative medical technologies has been recognised in the Government’s Industrial Strategy Life Sciences Sector Deal.

Learn more about the Leeds City Region Enterprise PartnershipHigher Education Funding Council for England, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.