14 September 2021
New research and innovation opportunities to support the delivery of a healthier mid and west Wales were unveiled on September 13 2021 through a collaborative partnership between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB).
Underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it provides the framework outlining strategic intentions and delivery plans for education, research, and innovation to transform the Health, Care and Digital offering across the region.
UWTSD and Hywel Dda UHB already work in collaboration on a number of initiatives and the new MoU will strengthen that partnership to provide greater opportunities for collaboration in relation to workforce development, research, enterprise and innovation, particularly post-COVID-19.
Activities will see both organisations undertaking collaborative research projects and maximising opportunities for commercialisation particularly in relation to new device and technology development. In addition, the agreement will facilitate new undergraduate and postgraduate provision, including opportunities for doctoral studies and a Digital Professional Masters’ programme for the next generation of digital transformers and leaders. There will also be opportunities for students to undertake internships and placements in clinical and non-clinical settings.
A major opportunity for collaboration will be facilitated via the Wales Institute of Digital Information (WIDI), a joint initiative between UWTSD and University of South Wales and Digital Health Care Wales to apply innovative technology to enhance digital workforce development and sector relevant research in health and care, as well as blue light and third sector organisations.
In addition, the University will lead on the skills element of the Pentre Awel initiative, which is part of the Swansea Bay City Deal, to provide public, academic, business and health facilities on one site in Llanelli to boost employment, education, leisure provision, health research and delivery, as well as health and care skills and training.
During the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the University’s Carmarthen campus, Professor Wendy Dearing, Dean of the University’s Institute of Management and Health, said: “Today, is about reaffirming our commitment to working together to benefit the health and wellbeing of our region by bringing our expertise together to make tangible differences to the lives of individuals in our communities. We are developing an exciting offer, not only in relation to new programmes and work-based learning initiatives but also in relation to innovative research and product development.”
Dr Leighton Phillips, Director for Research, Innovation and University Partnerships at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We have long enjoyed a deep and special partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. This MoU provides the opportunity to take our partnership to the next level in the context of supporting a healthier mid and west Wales. Whether it is collaborating to develop new technologies and innovations or equipping the next generation of healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care to our communities, we look forward to what this next stage of partnership brings.’’
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD, said: “I welcome the opportunity to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the University’s partnership with Hywel Dda UHB. The partnership will enable us to develop transformation opportunities together to support the health and wellbeing of our region. Such opportunities including the development of world-class translational research and innovation as well applied technical and digital skills, so that we can build capacity, address skills deficits, upskill and reskill the workforce, particularly post pandemic.”