Randox and partners announce opening of £7m Advanced Biomedical Devices laboratory
Randox Laboratories is pleased to announce the opening of a state-of-the-art Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory today, the result of an innovative partnership with some of Northern Ireland’s leading business and education stakeholders.
The strategic collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University and Heartsine Technologies to develop the £7 million laboratory aims to transform the future of healthcare. The lab, which is based at Ulster University, will offer expertise and state of the art equipment to assist companies to develop prototypes for the biomedical, engineering, electronic device and aerospace sectors.
Welcoming the new lab, Dr Peter FitzGerald from Randox Laboratories said: “As one of the UK’s leading life sciences companies, we are delighted to be a partner in this innovative collaboration and to promote Northern Ireland as a global life sciences hub. We believe the greatest improvements to patients’ lives are possible through the continuous development of new technologies.
“This unique laboratory will facilitate that, as it will allow the rapid development of test prototype devices and also assist us to expand our unique range of high-calibre analyser systems.”
Tracey Meharg, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business Solutions said: “The new Bio Devices Lab is a welcome and exciting development for Northern Ireland’s Health & Life Sciences sector. The facility will open up opportunities for stronger innovation by hosting a suite of equipment which will allow companies to quickly develop prototypes and medical devices for testing.
“It is a great example of how partnerships between government, industry and academia can enhance Northern Ireland as a knowledge economy and boost the credibility and visibility of Northern Ireland as a global leader in connected health.”
Prof Jim McLaughlin from Ulster University said: “Developing technology platforms to help translate our world class science and discovery to a device format as promptly as possible is essential for the very best design and performance.
“In healthcare technology, Ulster University leads the way in the development of new patient monitoring systems, stimulation devices, wearable solutions and diagnostic sensing.
“The lab will enable our researchers to develop the strong leadership and innovation skills so critical to future industry growth, working in collaboration with our industry partners.”
The total investment is £7.4m. Invest NI has offered assistance of £3.7m through a Grant for R&D, with Ulster University contributing £2.9m and £716,000 invested through industry collaborations with Randox Laboratories and Heartsine Technologies. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
Celebrating the opening of the Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory are (from left) Professor Brian Meenan, Ulster University; Tracy Meharg, Invest NI; Professor Jim McLaughlin, Ulster University; and Stuart McGregor, Randox Laboratories
A gaming app that helps children learn how to deal with stress and prevent serious mental health problems has scooped one of Northern Ireland’s most prestigious prizes for innovation during the annual INVENT Awards. Entrepreneur Fintan Connolly, a pharmacist, won the Randox-sponsored Life and Health category for his app which is based on providing real-time biofeedback to players – educating young people and helping them consciously control their emotions.
Following the ceremony last night an emotional Fintan said,
“This is a validation of all I’ve done – it is recognition that you’re on the right path, that what you’re doing is meaningful. I’ve always been fascinated by stress particularly in young children, and I wanted to upskill kids to help them deal with everyday situations. Young people face greater mental health problems today than ever before – the figures are startling and frightening. If they don’t understand the concept of self-regulation – they can’t understand the sense of empowerment. However by showing them in a visual way what is happening inside them, they get it. You use technology to help them because that is their domain.”
As well as sharing the £33,000 prize fund, the Take Ten team now travels to California as part of the NI Tech Mission. TakeTen are due to launch an advanced version of the app next month, which is designed to specifically support children diagnosed with cancer. Early in the New Year, they’ll also begin trials of the app in schools in California.
Randox Chief Scientist John Lamont who was part of the judging panel said,
“We were very proud to sponsor the Life and Health award at Invent 2016. This competition, run by Catalyst Inc, plays a crucial role in supporting the many inspiring innovators across Northern Ireland. We recognise that desire as it was of course the very reason Dr Peter FitzGerald established Randox and why we established our own student and graduate programmes, which had a record intake this year. The judges were blown away by the quality of the ideas we were presented with during Invent 2016, and every one that made it through to the finals of this prestigious competition deserved their place. Fintan’s passion to improve the health of young people was clear from the start and his app has great potential. We look forward to following his journey and wish him the very best in the future.”
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Randox Laboratories is representing our ever-growing knowledge economy this week at the world’s largest medical exhibition, the Medica World Forum for Medicine International Trade Fair.
Randox is joining a host of other healthcare exhibitors from over 120 countries, on over 1.3million square feet of exhibition space at the Düsseldorf Fairgrounds in Germany. The event, which runs for four days between Monday and Thursday, will showcase the latest developments across a range of medical sectors including Laboratory Equipment, Diagnostics, Physiotherapy and Orthopedic Technology, Communication and Information Technology, and Medical Services and Publications.
The Medica Trade Fair provides Randox and over 4800 other exhibitors the opportunity to showcase new and existing diagnostic capabilities to the world. With key manufacturing sites in Co. Antrim and Co. Donegal, in India and just outside Washington DC, Randox Laboratories diagnostics are already used and trusted by medical professionals across the globe, and are also available to the general public at Randox Health Clinics in Northern Ireland and in London.
Exporting to 145 countries, and with more tests in development than any other diagnostics company, Randox is a leading innovator in the fight against illnesses such as cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes, and is dedicated to saving and improving lives around the globe through preventative healthcare and early diagnosis.
At the Medica Fair, 30 members of the Randox team, including Senior Managers and Expert Scientists from a range of disciplines, will showcase to over 130,000 visitors a range of novel diagnostic tests for conditions such as diabetes, aspirin resistance, cardiovascular risk and gastric problems – highlighting just how our home-grown scientists are benefiting lives across the globe.
John Lamont, Chief Scientist at Randox Laboratories, commented:
“As a firmly established event in the medical calendar, The Medica Fair is the perfect opportunity for Randox to display to the global healthcare industry how our world-class diagnostics make a difference in the lives of so many patients across the world. From routine cholesterol checks to complex tests used in diagnosis of respiratory conditions, Randox is working behind the scenes from the moment you provide a blood sample to your GP.
In addition to our range of current extensive capabilities, we are also excited to share some new tests for aspirin resistance, cardiovascular risk and gastric problems at the Medica Fair, the hub of the medical trade. Randox is at the forefront of life-changing research and development in the medical industry and we are proud that we can show the Medica audience how our innovative diagnostic tests are paving the way for the future of healthcare.”
The Medica World Forum for Medicine International Trade Fair runs from Monday 16th to Thursday 19th November, and Randox will be in Hall 3 at Stand A08.