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The Life Science Exchange: a case study of a sectoral and sub-sectoral knowledge exchange programme
Health Research Policy and Systems, Volume: 14, Issue: 1
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Background: Local and national governments have implemented sector-specific policies to support economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship and knowledge exchange. Supported by the Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, The Life Science Exchange® project was c...
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Background: Local and national governments have implemented sector-specific policies to support economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship and knowledge exchange. Supported by the Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, The Life Science Exchange® project was created with the aim to increase interaction between stakeholders, to develop more effective knowledge exchange mechanisms, and to stimulate the formation and maintenance of long-term collaborative relationships within the Welsh life sciences ecosystem. The Life Science Exchange allowed participants to interact with other stakeholder communities (clinical, academic, business, governmental), exchange perspectives and discover new opportunities.Methods: Six sub-sector focus groups comprising over 200 senior stakeholders from academia, industry, the Welsh Government and National Health Service were established. Over 18 months, each focus group provided input to inform healthcare innovation policy and knowledge mapping exercises of their respective sub-sectors. Collaborative projects identified during the focus groups and stakeholder engagement were further developed through sandpit events and bespoke support.Results: Each sub-sector focus group produced a report outlining the significant strengths and opportunities in their respective areas of focus, made recommendations to overcome any ‘system failures’, and identified the stakeholder groups which needed to take action. A second outcome was a stakeholder-driven knowledge mapping exercise for each area of focus. Finally, the sandpit events and bespoke support resulted in participants generating more than £1.66 million in grant funding and inward investment. This article outlines four separate outcomes from the Life Science Exchange programme.Conclusions: The Life Science Exchange process has resulted in a multitude of collaborations, projects, inward investment opportunities and special interest group formations, in addition to securing over ten times its own costs in funding for Wales. The Life Science Exchange model is a simple and straightforward mechanism for a regional or national government to adapt and implement in order to improve innovation, skills, networks and knowledge exchange.
Knowledge exchange; Mapping sectoral; Innovation; Policy; Life sciences; Wales; Methods
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences