More than 60 multi-disciplinary academics have come together at Edinburgh Innovations to shape the work of the new £20m Advanced Care Research Centre.
The ACRC is part of a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Legal & General, the UK’s largest pension fund investor. The agreement, announced in January 2020, follows 18 months of industry engagement work led by EI.
The Centre is a seven-year multi-disciplinary research programme that will combine research across fields including medicine and other care professions, life sciences, engineering, informatics, data and social sciences. It will enable data-driven, personalised and affordable care that delivers independence, dignity and a high quality of life for people living in their own homes or in supported care environments.
The funding of £20m from L&G marks the University’s largest industry investment to be confirmed as part of the £661m Data-Driven Innovation programme of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
During 2019, Liz Casely, EI’s ACRC Programme Manager, brought together the participation of researchers from across the University, building the case that Edinburgh’s experts are uniquely placed to fulfil the mutually identified need for the ACRC.
On 7 February, following the conclusion of the agreement, the academics convened to develop the ACRC’s Work Programmes – the activities that will improve understanding of care in later life and revolutionise how it is delivered.
EI Chief Executive Officer Dr George Baxter introduced the ACRC’s vision, after which Doug Munro, L&G Head of Structuring and Solutions, addressed the audience. A choice of workshops followed.
Alasdair MacLullich, Professor of Geriatric Medicine and former President of the European Delirium Association, said he was “immediately struck” by the wide range of interests represented at the workshops.
“In the very first workshop I learnt so much from what others were saying. Suddenly all sorts of new ideas came to my mind that could be achieved by working together.
“I think there’s great potential for interdisciplinary working. We’re all very keen to look for new ways of tackling these massive problems, and I think that only by bringing people together will those ideas lead to solutions.”
– Professor Alasdair MacLullich, Chair in Geriatric Medicine, University of Edinburgh.