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CELTIC ALLIANCE TO DELIVER MAJOR HEALTHCARE ADVANCES

03.12



Four world-class institutions from Wales and Ireland have launched an exciting new alliance to lead the way in developing cutting-edge healthcare.

The €1.2 million Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth (CAN) will help companies on either side of the Irish Sea stay at the forefront of innovation and growth in what is a fast developing and hugely influential healthcare sector.

Swansea University will be the lead partner in the alliance, which is backed by £765,000 from the European Regional Development Fund under the Ireland Wales Cross Border programme.

The partnership will pool resources between the lead institution, The University of Swansea and the three Dublin-based institutions – UCD, TCD and DCU - each boasting specific areas of expertise in nanohealth. DCU's programme will be lead by Professor Robert J. Forster and Professor Tia E. Keyes of the BDI and the Nanobiophotonics and Imaging Platform.

The alliance will enable small to medium sized companies interested in developing nanohealth technology to access world leading resources as well as the opportunity to link-up with potential investors.

This includes two showcase business events planned in September of 2012 and 2013 in Swansea and Dublin, in collaboration with the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at the Rice University in Houston, Texas, aimed at providing opportunities for companies to link up with investors tailored to the nanohealth sector.

The alliance is also in discussions with the United States government, exploring opportunities for Welsh and Irish companies in America.

Through CAN it is expected that new and faster ways of screening for diseases using nanotechnologies will be developed. These will provide advances in patient care and safety and enhance the speed at which novel developments can be translated for patient benefit.

For example, Nano-devices and Nano-biosensors allow the detection and measurement of biomarkers in fluid or tissue samples at a level of sensitivity far beyond current methods, aiding the early detection and treatment of a wide range of diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Dr Steve Conlan, Director of the Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University said: "Establishing a coordinated cross-border cluster will create a world-class alliance of key opinion leaders, internationally distinguished researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure. This alliance will have the scope, capacity, and flexibility to lead nanohealth internationally from scientific, technological, and economic innovation perspectives."

For more information about the Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth (CAN) visit www.celticnano.eu