Region recognised as a ‘high potential investment opportunity for healthy ageing’

Tim Newns

Greater Manchester, along with Cheshire and Warrington, has been successful in its bid to promote the city region as a high potential opportunity (HPO) for ‘health innovation in healthy ageing’.

This will help raise the profile of the city region in this key area of Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy, with the ultimate aim to boost the local economy during the ‘recovery’ phase and Build Back Better at this crucial time.

Announced by the Department for International Trade (DIT) in a second phase of the HPO programme, this is the third HPO to be awarded to Greater Manchester – others include advanced materials and sustainable packaging – and is one of 19 new investment opportunities announced in key sectors and regions to drive millions of pounds of foreign investment into the UK.

With a growing population, healthy ageing innovation is at the heart of Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS).

This HPO reinforces the region’s position as a stronghold in molecular diagnostics and SMART technologies which enable early detection and early intervention in patients with chronic diseases and other age-related health conditions, supporting greater independence and quality of life.

The HPO scheme is managed by DIT and identifies opportunities to attract foreign investors into new market sectors, regions and clusters, bringing jobs and economic growth.

Greater Manchester will benefit from DIT’s global network which will set out to showcase the region’s healthy ageing opportunity on the international stage and contact specific international investors to promote the project.

The development of Greater Manchester’s application was led by MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, in consultation with GMCA and Health Innovation Manchester, with the focus on health innovation to reflect the wider LIS strategic priorities and the UK Healthy Ageing Grand Challenge.

Tim Newns, MIDAS chief executive, said: “As outlined in our LIS, Greater Manchester aims to be a global leader in health and care innovation by improving health outcomes and extending life expectancy.

“With proven research capabilities and as one of the largest life science and healthcare clusters in the UK, this HPO reaffirms the skills, partnerships and commercial opportunities that exist here for companies developing new healthcare solutions.”

Gerry Grimstone, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The UK has so much to offer international investors across a variety of key sectors and regions. Our HPO programme looks at some of the sectors and sites across the UK where we see some of the world’s greatest challenges being solved.”

Richard Deed, associate commercial director at Health Innovation Manchester, said: “Greater Manchester has a unique opportunity and ability to deliver health innovation at pace and scale thanks to the region’s devolved health and care system, exceptional life science research assets and thriving industry partnerships.

“This HPO will further support the city region’s position at the forefront of health innovation and as an attractive area for collaborations.”

Lou Cordwell and Mo Isap, co-chairs of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Greater Manchester has already been recognised as the UK’s first World Health Organisation Age Friendly city region.

“With a proven track record in health and care innovation, and a leading role in the drive to support an ageing population, the HPO status now bestowed upon Greater Manchester will help us in securing the international partnerships and investment necessary to meet this global challenge.”

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