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Life sciences minister Nadhim Zahawi has announced the launch of the new Innovation Scholars Scheme, a £10 million scheme which aims to foster collaborations between researchers and businesses.

The scheme will support secondments for academics to work on developing new medical technologies and techniques for NHS patients, with medical academics and industry figures working together to develop new medical treatments and cures for patients facing life-threatening conditions such as cancer and dementia.

This will include new wearable healthcare technologies, diagnostic devices and new personalised medicines, which can be developed based on a patients’ genetic information.

Zahawi said: “The UK is home to one of the strongest, most vibrant health and life science industries globally, with discoveries and improvements in health diagnosis transforming people’s lives.

“Collaboration is vital to growing this sector and this new £10 million scheme will support the exchanging of ideas, knowledge and skills between researchers and businesses while encouraging strong collaboration with them, the NHS and the government.”

The government has also announced six new locations that are to be awarded the designation of Life Science Opportunity Zone, these will look to attract national and international investment and link research expertise with business skills and will receive government support.

The six new zones are Stevenage Advanced Therapies Campus in Hertfordshire, Birmingham Life Sciences Park, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Porton Science Park in Wiltshire and Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent.

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