MORE than 100 leading experts from the world of cardiology descended on Craigavon Civic Centre for a cutting edge Cardiology and Life Sciences conference which saw world-renowned Dr Ian Menown fit a patient with a new type of stent.
Organised by Craigavon Borough Council in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and BioBusiness and sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, the ‘Cardiology, Commerce and Collaboration’ conference showed how ground-breaking work being carried out locally boosts not only the economy, but is delivering cutting edge care to patients and leading the way in health research.
The event attracted cardiologists and other health professionals from across Ireland, key representatives from the life science sector as well as businesses currently supplying, or seeking to build capacity to supply, the life sciences sector in Ireland and further afield.
Building on the success of a notable indigenous Life Sciences presence in the region, and the pioneering work being carried out by Craigavon Area Hospital, Craigavon Borough Council intends to establish and promote Craigavon as a centre of excellence and a leading force in this area of growth.
Industry and medical speakers including leading cardiologists from Craigavon Area Hospital presented current research in Cardiology, along with details of the ground breaking clinical research being carried out at the hospital for a range of life sciences companies including Heartsine, Intelesens and Randox.
Central to the programme was a live link to the Cardiology Cath Lab at Craigavon Area Hospital as Dr Menown, Director Interventional Cardiology performed a procedure, demonstrating the advances in heart care.
Health Minister Edwin Poots and enterprise Minister Arlene Foster were guests at the conference which reflects the themes of their recent visit to the European Parliament in Brussels at the Northern Ireland Connected Health and Prosperity Event.
Funding and investment, regulatory requirements and the supply chain were also addressed.
It is envisaged that this event will now become a forum for ongoing debate; a platform for business and clinical representatives to meet and discuss opportunities for joint research, new product development and clinical need, as well as identifying areas of mutual interest and encourage closer collaboration and support.
Craigavon Borough Council’s initiative in organising the Conference was welcomed by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s Medical Director, Dr John Simpson who viewed the event “as an opportunity for the Trust to collaborate with the council and local businesses and also promote cardiology research at Craigavon Area Hospital which has been on-going in excess of 30 years”.
“This conference was a very exciting opportunity for businesses here in this Borough to learn more about a very forward thinking sector,” commented Councillor Darryn Causby, chair of the development committee.
“Craigavon is ideal to host a conference like this, bringing the medical world and businesses together. Craigavon Area Hospital, a number of major life sciences companies and other key businesses are located here and we believe there is huge potential for Craigavon to become a centre of excellence for this sector.
“As one of the world’s fastest growing high technology industries, Life Sciences is one of the priority sectors that will drive the future growth of Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy,” said Peter Donnelly from BioBusiness.
“Building on the success of a notable indigenous Life Sciences presence in the region, and the exciting pioneering work being carried out by Craigavon Area Hospital, Craigavon can be a centre of excellence and focal point for growth in this area.