Our partnership working with regional NHS Trusts is very strong, as exemplified by Birmingham Health Partners (BHP), an exciting collaborative platform between the University, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC).
BHP has an outstanding healthcare infrastructure based on a campus that encompasses renowned hospitals, world-class multi-disciplinary research facilities, clinical and industry-focused space and a range of flagship national centres of excellence. Globally Birmingham is one of the few cities that can deliver such comprehensive co-located expertise.
The co-location of the partners allows BHP to deliver an integrated approach to research and healthcare innovation; working together to shape the future of healthcare to benefit our communities and change lives.
BHP will lead one of six new sites across the UK created to address challenging healthcare issues through use of data science, funded by £30 million from Health Data Research UK. The University of Birmingham and UHB will form part of the Midlands site, together with the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Warwick.
The Advanced Therapies Facility, incorporating the Human Biomaterials Resource Centre (HBRC), works with a large number of NHS Trusts in the region and acts as the hub for collaborative initiatives such as the 100,000 Genomes Project West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WM GMC).
The WM GMC draws upon our unique population demographic through a collaboration of 18 NHS Trusts co-ordinated by our partnership with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN). The WMAHSN brings together NHS commissioners, providers of NHS services, industry, academia and representatives of the people of the West Midlands to support the spread and adoption of innovation across the region.
The Midlands & Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC) is a recently formed health consortium jointly led by the National Institute for Health Research Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Birmingham BRC) and NHS Wales. It has been awarded funding of almost £9 million to ensure more patients benefit from a new generation of breakthrough therapies.
We also partner with many other Universities both in the UK and overseas on collaborative research projects and split site PhD opportunities. These collaborations maximise our research outputs, and provide PhD students with opportunities to broaden their knowledge and skills across multiple world leading institutions. Projects with international partners include a large number of Horizon 2020 awards and specialist strategic collaborations with partners including Universitas 21 universities and Sun Yat Sen University, China.
The Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE; a collaboration with the University of Nottingham) will harness cutting-edge developments in Super Resolution Microscopy to enable researchers to visualise what happens when a drug or ligand binds to a cell surface receptor or protein in real-time. COMPARE will build on excellent and complementary basic science in both universities to deliver a unique capability for academic drug discovery.
In addition to the NHS Trusts in our immediate vicinity, the College works closely with many of the teaching hospitals, clinical commissioning groups, and training practices across the West Midlands. Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge and experience by working across a wide range of organisations and experiencing the varied cultures and demographics of the West Midlands. We have particularly strong research links with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust who host much of our clinical academic work in rheumatology, ophthalmology and cardiology.
Our cross-campus collaborations within the University are vital, to share expertise and knowledge across disciplines, as well as facilities, equipment and resources. We have strong relationships with all other University Colleges, most notably with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences in connection with the Life Sciences Strategy as outlined above.
Other strong links are with the Business School, within the College of Social Sciences for education delivery, and with the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences for both teaching and research activity where programmes in biomaterials, regenerative medicine and biomathematics are particularly exciting. We are also looking to forge stronger links with the College of Arts and Law in areas that include medicolegal and medical ethics and the use or the arts to engage and treat patients.