One of the key aims of Oxford Academic Health Partners is collaboration and partnership and the fostering of networks that can provide benefits locally, regionally and nationally. Keith Channon, Sara Ward and Megan Turmezei met on 7 January 2021 with Nigel Tipple and Richard Bryard from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Many areas of common interest were identified particularly in ensuring that the strengths within the City and County can be made available more widely. Collaborations are already underway in relation to COVID-19 and its management. The recent publication from OxLEP – Life sciences 2020 FINAL provides an excellent summary of the skills, expertise and strengths across life sciences, research and clinical trials (for example Vaccine trials, RECOVERY AND PRINCIPLE trials) and healthcare – two areas that are critical to the OAHP. It highlights five key areas of activity as outlined below.
Both life sciences and healthcare can drive innovation that can benefit patients across the UK including developments in Artificial Intelligence – e.g. Brainomix, Caristo Diagnostics, Mirada Medical, Optellum, Perspectum Diagnostics and Plexalis. Strength in Medical Devices and Diagnostics is also apparent as demonstrated by (for example) Owen Mumford, Abbott and Oxford Nanopore. Digital Health is a major area of activity drawing on research within the Universities and supporting the development of digital services in the NHS, again locally and nationally. Precision Medicine and Genomics are a particular strength, for example the work at the Wellcome Institute and the University of Oxford’s Big Data Centre and companies including Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, Adaptimmune and Cellmark Forensic services. The final area is Drug Discovery and Development with many areas of academic, healthcare and biopharma activity and new centres include the Rosalind Franklyn Institute and the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre now under construction.
Both the OxLEP and OAHP will work together to take all these areas forward, working across the partners of the OAHP and into the wider community support by OXLEP and neighbouring Local Enterprise Partners in the Thames Valley and beyond.