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Topic : News and Press Type : Press Release

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and the Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), designed to stimulate the health and wealth of Northern Ireland, through a focus on HealthTech innovation, investment, skills and regulatory excellence. 

The partnership will see the establishment of the Northern Ireland HealthTech Leaders’ Forum, an alliance of health technology leaders that will meet regularly, with a remit to strengthen Northern Ireland’s relationships with the UK and global HealthTech sector, and to build deeper relationships with the operational NHS to speed up the adoption and spread of HealthTech.

HIRANI, who were established in 2019, bring together Northern Ireland’s academic, local government, clinical and business communities, with a view to promoting the region’s life sciences capabilities. 

Joann Rhodes, Chief Executive, HIRANI, said: “At HIRANI, we play an important role in leveraging our local capabilities to connect knowledge with skills, and therefore investment, in order to aid our citizens. As we forge our strategic vision for HealthTech in Northern Ireland, it is important that we bring in the right partners, and frankly, there is no one better equipped to talk about the business landscape for HealthTech than ABHI. Through this partnership, and the creation of the Northern Ireland HealthTech Leaders’ Forum, we now have a strong platform to accelerate what is already an incredibly dynamic sector, so that we can bring further health and wealth benefits to our population.”

The HealthTech sector is a critical component of this industry, covering medical devices, diagnostics and digital technologies, and the industry is represented in the UK by ABHI, a Trade Association with over 330 members. 

Richard Phillips, Director of Strategy, ABHI, added: “There is some very exciting activity underway in Northern Ireland, and in recent years we have seen a strong HealthTech ecosystem emerge, with particular strengths in digital, diagnostics and cyber security. When we consider the regulatory situation too, and the opportunity for Northern Ireland to have good access to both GB and EU markets, then you start to have a really compelling offer for the region as a destination for investment. By bringing in ABHI’s expertise in areas like regulation, and our deep connections within the NHS, UK government and wider HealthTech ecosystem, our partnership with HIRANI is an important move in unlocking Northern Ireland’s significant potential.”

HealthTech currently employs 2,600 people within Northern Ireland, and accounts for over 45% of employment within the region’s wider life sciences footprint. Over the past decade, Northern Irish life sciences has enjoyed net growth of 2,200 people.