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National funding for paediatric HealthTech Research Centre

A young child with pigtails is using a robotic and smiling.
17 November 2023

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a £3 million grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to establish and lead the UK’s only paediatric HealthTech Research Centre (HRC). This funding further enhances Sheffield Children’s position as a leader in paediatric research and innovation, being the only one of 14 HRCs funded focusing on child health within the NIHR’s nationwide HRC network.

This funding is an addition to the over £23 million already raised through Sheffield Children’s groundbreaking Technology Innovation Transforming Child Health (TITCH) Network and NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Cooperative. Alongside the forthcoming National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) in Sheffield, the HRC enhances Sheffield’s standing as a leading UK and international centre for paediatric healthcare technology, marking a new era in Sheffield’s evolution as a global hub in this field.

Commencing in April 2024, the NIHR Children and Young People HRC will join forces with prestigious partners such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, Cambridge Children’s Hospital, the University of Cambridge, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Liverpool. The HRC’s mission is to bring together cross sector expertise to spearhead advancements throughout the early life stages, from pregnancy to young adulthood.

The technologies developed by the HRC are poised to bring about transformative changes in areas like neonatal health, long term conditions and rare diseases in children, transition to adult services and child mental health, including through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data. The NIHR Children and Young People HRC will work alongside industry partners, offering exciting opportunities for collaboration. These industry partners will play a pivotal role in the unique paediatric healthcare technology ecosystem, significantly contributing to the future of child health.

Professor Paul Dimitri, Clinical Director of Innovation and Technology at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is an historic milestone positioning Sheffield at the cutting edge of paediatric research and innovation worldwide. The HRC and NCCHT will pioneer the health technologies of tomorrow, delivering dramatic improvements in NHS care that benefit generations to come. We aim to create a lasting legacy for children’s health.”

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