If anyone might have suspected the Point of Care Diagnostics (POCD) Open Innovation Workshop in Tianjin, China was going to be a bit of a summer jolly, think again. Sponsored by Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, hosted by the Tianjin Government, and facilitated by the University of Bradford, this is more innovation boot camp than relaxing summer camp.
Twenty seven UK and Chinese healthcare technology companies are engaged in a highly interactive technology exchange, with a view to creating innovative healthcare solutions that can be developed into viable services and products to benefit both the Chinese, UK and other healthcare markets.
At the end of day two of the workshop 57 projects have been identified that involve collaboration between any combination of the participating delegates. These solutions are innovative and cover areas like genomics, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, brain science, telehealth, and of course our very own TAMonitor and TAHomeCheck in the POCD area. But now the hard stuff really starts, as 57 ideas are condensed down to around 12 proposals to be submitted to the Tianjin Government to compete for funding of up to £200,000 each.
But it’s not all been about opening minds and open innovation. A somewhat gruelling schedule (compounded by the UK delegates’ inevitable jet lag) has been refreshed and reinvigorated along the way through the brilliant leadership of Paul Thorning and Dr Qun Shao, both from the University of Bradford. There have been games (not exactly a rerun of the Beijing Olympics, but close) and even magic, although the magician (Paul) may need a bit more practice, and wonderful hospitality from Tianjin and the Chinese people.
And the outcome?
Who knows at this stage, but one thing is for sure, genuine friendship and collaboration between the participants has been forged in a sweltering Tianjin that will transcend the workshop.