Theme strategy in relation to Balancing Capability
The EPSRC Healthcare Technologies (HCT) Strategy (2015) was developed following the Maxwell Review, `The importance of engineering and physical sciences research to health and life sciences’. The strategy was developed with key stakeholders and the wider community to set out the vision and framework under which future activities within the theme would be achieved. The HCT Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) has been fully engaged with the development of the strategy with input commencing in 2013.
The strategy closely aligns with the Healthy Nation Outcome of the EPSRC Delivery Plan and has also been an integral part of informing the Theme’s approach to the Balancing Capability project. The engagement activities and evidence gathered for the strategy development formed the basis of input for the research areas across EPSRC's remit within the Healthcare Technologies theme.
Key engagement activities
The engagement activities completed during the development of the Healthcare Technologies grand challenge strategy have included:
- Regular discussions with the SAT
- Feedback surveys, from which we received over 280 responses from stakeholders
- Two stakeholder workshops with attendees including government, industry, academic and other research community representatives.
- Key partners workshop
In addition to the above activities the Healthcare Technologies theme has interacted with the research community regularly via university site visits and on-going communication.
The following are the key stakeholder groups that the theme has engaged with during the development of the grand challenges strategy and Balancing Capability project:
- Healthcare Technologies SAT
- Other EPSRC SAT’s (including Engineering, ICT, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Research Infrastructure themes)
- Other research funders (including MRC, BBSRC, Innovate UK, NC3Rs and NIHR)
- Government departments (Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Healthcare Technology Cooperatives, NHS England and Academic Health Science Networks)
- The Healthcare Technologies research community and associated research communities
- Charities (including the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Arthritis Research UK, Association of Medical Research Charities and British Heart Foundation)
- Large Research Centres (including Centres for Doctoral Training and Interdisciplinary Research Centres)
- Catapults (Biomedical Catalyst, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Medicines Discovery Catapult)
We are also largely involved in the development of research areas within other EPSRC themes, which have impact and close alignment with healthcare technologies research, for example Assistive Technology, Rehabilitation and Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Clinical Technologies and Medical Imaging.
Key evidence sources
In addition to the above engagement activities, a large range of key evidence sources for healthcare technologies research has informed us during this process, including:
- “The importance of engineering and physical sciences research to health and life sciences” The Maxwell Review, April 2014
- “Biomedical engineering: Advancing UK Healthcare” Institute of Mechanical Engineering, July 2014
- “Opportunities and Challenges: Advancing and Translating Knowledge and Technology” Medical Engineering Initiative, February 2016
- “21st Century Engineering for an Ageing Population” Institution of Mechanical Engineers, May 2015
- “Regenerative Medicine Report” House of Lords, July 2013
- “Realising the potential of stratified medicine” The Academy of Medical Sciences, July 2013
- “Compendium of innovative health technologies for low-resource settings” World Health Organisation, 2014
Given the breadth of research areas across EPSRC that have relevance to healthcare technologies, the above list is not exhaustive and individual research area rationales should be consulted for a full list of evidence sources.