Full programme announced for Scotland's Health Research and Innovation Conference
23rd August 2023
A diverse and impactful programme has been announced for Scotland's Health Research and Innovation Conference, taking place in Glasgow this October
The event theme 50 years of advancing healthcare encompasses the 50th anniversary of the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scottish Government. The programme will reflect on accomplishments over the last five decades, whilst looking to the future, and the opportunities to unlock and accelerate Scotland’s full health research and innovation potential.
Held at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on 31 October, it will bring together researchers, innovators, healthcare staff, policymakers, industry, and the public. It will explore how all can work together to tackle healthcare challenges, embed research, development, and innovation in our NHS, and maximise opportunities for improvement and growth.
Opening the conference will be Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director-General Health and Social Care. It will be followed by Scotland’s Chief Scientist (Health) Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak outlining progress since CSO was first inaugurated in 1973.
As host of the conference, Professor Dominiczak said: “With the support of our Scientific Programme Committee and Conference Working Group, we are proud to be able to launch the full programme for what we believe will be an exciting, engaging event marking five decades of vital health research and innovation.
“While reflecting on progress, we are also looking forward to what is truly possible across the next 50 years, with research and innovation taking centre stage.
“It is the first conference under my leadership as Chief Scientist for Health and it has been a real team effort to create what I believe is a really exciting programme. It reflects the strength and diversity of our research and innovation capabilities here in Scotland, whilst providing a platform for learning, discussion, and networking.
“We have a range of wonderful speakers, and I thank them for bringing their insight, expertise and support to what will be a great conference.”
While domestic priorities will take centre stage – both Chief Medical Officer Sir Gregor Smith and Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch will host panel discussions – there will also be fresh perspectives and learnings offered by a range of international speakers.
This includes Professor TAN Chorh Chuan, Chief Health Scientist, Ministry of Health, Singapore Executive Director, MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation who will reflect on Health and Biomedical science research and innovation in Singapore.
This international mix offers new perspectives as we experience a changing paradigm in health care; and this very topic will be explored during a presentation by Professor Sir John Irving Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine University of Oxford, and recently appointed a Companion of Honour in the King’s Birthday Honours list for his work in medicine and life sciences.
Significant projects from Scotland will also be showcased including Generation Scotland - a research study looking at the health and well-being of volunteers and their families. The study already has over 24,000 people from 7,000 families taking part, and is supporting research into diseases, including COVID-19, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, dementia and much more.
Reflecting on Scotland’s significant body of COVID-19 research, delegates will learn more about EAVE II (Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19) from Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh, Professor of Primary Care Research & Development and Director of the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh. EAVE II was central to the Scottish and UK governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic – tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in near real-time, as well as the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, across Scotland.
As well as showcasing impactful research and innovation projects, the vital partnerships and skills that need to be brought together to deliver successful projects will also be shared. Dr Ken Sutherland, President, Canon Medical Research Europe and James Blackwood, AI Strategy and Portfolio Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will come together to present on the Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics (iCAIRD), while Mark Cook, Chair of the Industry Leadership Group for Life Sciences Scotland and Mark Logan, Chief Entrepreneur for Scottish Government will join a panel discussion exploring Scotland’s triple helix approach of industry, NHS and academia working together to tackle healthcare challenges and attract investment into Scotland’s growing research and innovation ecosystem.
Delegates can also choose from a range of themed sessions – Precision Medicine, Clinical trials, Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Enabling participation in research and Patient and public involvement.
Networking opportunities are being offered throughout the day, with the chance to contribute to discussions, and the research and innovation community is encourage to get involved through the submission of oral or poster abstracts.
Professor Dominiczak continued: “There is so much forward-thinking activity going on across the country with research and innovation forming a vital building block of the NHS Recovery Plan. The conference is an opportunity to showcase and champion the great work coming out of a talented community while identifying learnings that can help it to continuously evolve and improve.
“Life sciences of course remains a key priority and significant growth area, as cited in the recently published National Innovation Strategy. Further progress will also continue to be made thanks to Scottish research and innovation targeting other major priorities such as cancer and dementia, with fresh strategies for both being recently published.
“This is underpinned by an enthusiastic, driven workforce that is keen to develop and integrate new breakthroughs for better patient outcomes. We believe this conference represents just the beginning of so much more.”