Working together securing better outcomes for patients and industry – Poots & Foster

Academic, clinical and business collaborations are helping to secure better outcomes for patients with cardiac problems.

That was the message from the Health Minister, Edwin Poots and Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster as they addressed the Life Sciences/Cardiology Conference in Craigavon. The conference will focus on the world-leading, innovative expertise in cardiology that has been developed in the Craigavon Area Hospital.

Speaking at the conference, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to see the mutually beneficial work underway involving academics, clinicians and businesses. We in Government are doing what we can to create an environment that supports such interactions. The allocation of our regional Health and Social Care Research & Development fund is enabling Health and Social Care Trusts to develop research ideas and to generate evidence of the effectiveness of new medicines, diagnostics, medical devices or other treatments.

“In such a short space of time Northern Ireland has progressed quite a distance towards having an excellent research and innovation system for healthcare. The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has very successfully developed its expertise in Cardiology research. Staff at the hospital are working closely with local academics and Life Sciences companies that are developing innovative products for global markets. I would like to congratulate the staff on their hard work and dedication to improving outcomes for patients.”

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Locally, we recognise the importance of having a joint approach to developing our Life Sciences sector. Through the application of innovative technology and medical practice we can provide better patient care, at reduced cost, as well as generate significant economic benefits.

“From drug discovery and clinical trials, to medical device diagnostics, biotechnology and systems biology, Northern Ireland’s products and expertise are making their mark locally and globally. This is helped, in part, by Invest Northern Ireland, which has offered support to companies, organised trade missions, hosted inward visits and brokered strategic alliances.

“The active participation in today’s event by a diverse range of stakeholders, creates a cross disciplinary approach, through which we can maximise the potential of our Life Sciences sector and generate significant economic benefits.”

Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Carla Lockhart said: “I am delighted to host this cutting-edge conference today. This marks the start of Craigavon as a centre of excellence for health, bio-business and technology.”