Laboratory research

Making Greater Manchester the place for world class research

Making Greater Manchester the place to do world class research is the mission behind Health Innovation Manchester.

The organisation is dedicated to building the right environment and infrastructure in the region so that research excellence translates into better diagnosis, care and treatments in the NHS.

Health Innovation Manchester brings together the expertise of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) in discovery and innovation with that of the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network in implementation and adoption of research findings. It is a partnership of universities, research bodies, NHS Trusts, life science industry and local government and provides support at all stages of the research process, reducing the time it takes for an initial idea to reach the bedside. This is a current bugbear in healthcare where it can take well over 10 years for an initial theory to become adopted as best practice.

Covering Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and East Cheshire, Health Innovation Manchester will work with a wide range of partner organisations to attract and support high quality industry studies, so that patients get early access to the latest treatments.

It is also home to the Greater Manchester Research Hub, which has a key role in providing expert help to researchers so that trials can be run effectively. This includes:

  • Supporting research departments’ capability and capacity processes so that everything is in place to set up and run the study.
  • Assisting with costing and contracting processes for both commercial and non-commercial studies.
  • Generating research by supporting Principal Investigators with funding applications, connecting them with other experts and organisations that might strengthen their ideas.
  • Facilitating the delivery of research by ironing out practical problems.
  • Building research infrastructure by making connections between teams and organisations and improving communication.

One example of practical help it can offer is access to its growing database of existing patient research cohorts, helping researchers to access the data and samples that could feed into their studies.

Health Innovation Manchester will continue MAHSC’s internal peer review system of grant applications to be submitted to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This rigorous system of pre-checks by experienced researchers has seen MAHSC successfully bid for the largest number of Research for Patient Benefit grants of all the UK’s Academic Health Science Centres. Researchers intending to submit an application to the NIHR should ensure the science element is as advanced as possible before requesting an internal peer review at least four weeks before the NIHR deadline.

The MAHSC Clinical Trials Unit (MAHSC-CTU) also comes under the umbrella of Health Innovation Manchester. This core resource for clinical and academic investigators provides a wide range of services supporting the conduct of clinical trials. This UK Clinical Research Collaboration-accredited unit is based in the Jean McFarlane building at The University of Manchester and offers support for complex multi-site interventional studies, including methodology and statistical expertise, governance checks and monitoring, study set-up and liaison with other centres.

The Executive Chair of Health Innovation Manchester is Rowena Burns, Chief Executive of Manchester Science Partnerships and Non-Executive Director at Salford Royal. She summed up: “Our vision is to be a recognised international leader in accelerating innovation that transforms citizens’ health and wellbeing.

“Health Innovation Manchester provides a simplified landscape for researchers and industry innovators. This includes a single gateway into the system, a single innovation pathway and an enhanced level of assurance in terms of adoption following proof of concept.

“This is also supported by our emerging world class informatics infrastructure and active development of assets that attract the best industry innovators from across the world.”