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Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre brings investment to Sheffield City Region

Posted: 24th January 2020

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is supporting a state-of-the-art centre for research and Innovation in Sheffield.

The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre is located within Sheffield Hallam University and has been established to develop innovations that will improve population health and physical activity levels. It has received £14m of funding from the Department of Health and will open today (20th January).

The AWRC provides world class research and design capability through state-of-the-art, fully instrumented indoor and outdoor laboratories and access to academic expertise across health, engineering, robotics, software design, psychology, design, and the arts.

Part of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, it will use insights from Sports Science for population health, acting as the research hub for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise.

Based in an old industrial part of the city, the centre plays a key part in the planned regeneration of the area.  It will also develop educational assets to inspire and improve the health of the local population.

The AWRC has already brought significant investment to the Sheffield region: £17m in total. Future hopes are that the AWRC will attract global innovators who will drive further investment into the centre and make it a global innovation hub.

Sheffield Hallam University has just secured £900k, part of which is for the establishment of a wellbeing accelerator at the AWRC and this is one of 20 University Enterprise Zones funded by Research England. This will stimulate further economic growth in the region. The accelerator will support specialist facilities, laboratories and a clinical research facility for Start-ups and SMEs.

The AWRC is an exciting and unique asset in the Yorkshire & Humber region and the AHSN has been involved in supporting the development of ideas that will support the long-term sustainability of the AWRC by helping catalyse innovative approaches to commercial partnerships and system change. The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is also delighted to be involved in ongoing discussions on how to support and develop the centre and the role it might serve within the local and national landscape, as well as contributing to the development of an offer for industry innovators. The AHSN will continue to work in partnership with the centre to grow the region’s innovation ecosystem, supporting the Sheffield City region as they work to drive inclusive economic growth in the local area by supporting the wellness and health technology sectors.

Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Chief Executive, Richard Stubbs, is also Chair of the AWRC’s advisory board and said: “The AWRC is already a hugely important part of the heath innovation and research infrastructure in Sheffield.  It is the jewel in the crown of the Olympic Legacy Park and is helping increase the global visibility of Sheffield as a key champion of the wellbeing agenda. It’s a real privilege to be able to work with the AWRC; there is an exciting future for Sheffield and South Yorkshire in the life sciences sector and the AWRC is at the heart of it.”

Chris Lowe, Deputy Director for the AWRC at Sheffield Hallam University said: “The AHSN are key partners in developing our portfolio of innovation activity. Their commitment to a long term and supportive relationship with us, and their invaluable networks in industry and the NHS, will help us to achieve our aim of impacting globally on population wellbeing.”

More information about the AWRC can be found here; https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/specialisms/advanced-wellbeing-research-centre