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Wales to host UK’s first respiratory disease innovation centre

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The Welsh government has announced that £2.5m will be invested in a new innovation centre to develop new ways to tackle respiratory disease.

Health secretary for Wales Vaughan Gething announced the funding today to create the new Respiratory Innovation Centre.

“Improving the respiratory health of the people of Wales is a major challenge”

Vaughan Gething

It will bring together health professionals, academic and business people to more quickly develop, test and implement innovative methods to tackle respiratory illness, said the government.

By helping to make new products and services commercially viable, it said the centre would 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 is expected announced shortly.

It will be the first innovation centre for respiratory disease in the UK, highlighted the Welsh government.

Mr Gething said: “Improving the respiratory health of the people of Wales is a major challenge for our healthcare services.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

‘Real time’ monitoring of HCAIs in Welsh hospitals

Vaughan Gething

“In 2016-17, 8% of the Welsh population reported having a respiratory condition, and respiratory diseases caused just over 15% of deaths in 2016,” said Mr Gething.

“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,” he said.

Welsh 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,” he said.

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