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The National Institute for Health Research: research for health and wealth

In her role as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Dame Sally Davies provides independent advice to the Government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health.

Perhaps less well known is Dame Sally’s involvement in health research. She founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2006, which has an annual budget of £1 billion.

This press briefing will provide you with an overview of the NIHR, highlighting diabetes as an example of one field of NIHR research.

Dame Sally cam to the SMC to give an overview of the NIHR, highlighting diabetes as an example of one field of NIHR research, and also to talk about funding for the development of new medical technologies which have the potential to address existing or emerging healthcare needs through the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme.

Three researchers who have received NIHR i4i awards will showcase their projects and explain the potential benefits for NHS patients. In the current financial climate where financial investment is hard to secure, all of these would otherwise have struggled to obtain funding.

Each project shows how relatively modest awards can help develop significant advancements for NHS patients:

  • The first test to allow a doctor to see how a patient is responding to cancer treatment in real-time
  • New smart phone connected HIV diagnostics will help widen access to testing in GP surgeries, pharmacies, community settings and developing countries
  • Computerised glasses to improve the independence of those living with a serious visual disability



Dame Sally Davies, Head of NIHR

Damian Bond, ProKyma Technologies Limited

Rachel McKendry, University College London

Stephen Hicks, University of Oxford

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