Seated around the table on the crisp winter’s morning were esteemed representatives from leading academic, health and research bodies across East Anglia. The heading on the agenda read “How can we better support a research ambitious Eastern region?”
Rallied by the heads of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN) and the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network in the Eastern region (CRN Eastern) the gathering also included senior leaders from the NIHR’s Research Design Service, Cambridge University and Cambridge University Health Partners, the University of East Anglia (UEA) and UEA Partners, and the University of Hertfordshire.
The course of the meeting saw innovative ideas sparked for transforming how our organisations can collaborate to improve the way we research. These included learning from other areas where greater progress has already been made and looking at opportunities to work more closely with SMEs, business, entrepreneurs and inventors as the path progresses.
Steve Feast, Managing Director of the Eastern AHSN who co-chaired the meeting with Jesus Perez, Clinical Director of CRN Eastern, said:
“As a result of this meeting we’re able to visualise a new research horizon for the Eastern region, which is tremendously exciting.”
Looking ahead, a coalition will be built with key partners (including many more unable to make the inaugural meeting) to investigate and understand the research barriers, enablers and potential on the Eastern region’s doorstep. Ultimately, a resolution has been made for this year and beyond to shape the East of England as the go-to place for medical, life science and MedTech research.