Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has announced £2.5m of funding to develop new ways to prevent and treat respiratory disease.
The money will be used to create a Respiratory Innovation Centre, bringing together health professionals, academic and business people to more quickly develop, test and implement innovative methods to tackle respiratory illness.
By helping to make new products and services commercially viable the Centre will also help create jobs and support economic growth as well as the obvious health benefits for patients.
The funding is for three years after which time it is expected the Centre will become self-financing by generating profits and drawing in funding from other sources. Three sites within the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University and Hywel Dda University Health Board areas are being considered to house the centre and a decision on that will be announced shortly.
It will be the first innovation centre for respiratory disease in the UK.
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said:
“Improving the respiratory health of the people of Wales is a major challenge for our healthcare services. In 2016-17, 8% of the Welsh population reported having a respiratory condition, and respiratory diseases caused just over 15% of deaths in 2016. This new centre will identify promising new ideas to prevent, diagnose and treat respiratory disease and help develop them into products and services that can be used by the health service.”
Economy Secretary, Ken Skates added:
“Wales’ life sciences sector is punching well above its weight on a global stage and we have a wealth of academic and entrepreneurial talent here. This investment will help bring together the academic and business world to create new products and services to help tackle respiratory disease. In the long-term this will help create highly skilled jobs and grow an industry that is already worth around £2bn to the Welsh economy.”