This was an innovative project which was designed to develop high quality business plans and proposals for specific academic health services in Wales, whilst providing the richest educational experience for students. The experience included working closely with clinical/health leads and commercial mentors within a structured framework developed to maximize successful outcomes.
In co-hort pilot of four students came from Cardiff University Business School, and were competitively selected and supported through a twenty week programme which included dedicated workshops. The Programme was co-produced with a partnership that includes the Healthcare Innovation Department, Welsh Government, the South East Wales Academic Health Science Partnership, Cardiff University (Cardiff Business School, School of Medicine and Post Graduate Deanery), Fulcrum Direct, Cardiff and Vale UHB, Public Health Wales and the Life Science Hub. From a policy perspective the Programme targeted both the health and wealth priority for Wales.
The unique difference with this programme was that the focus was on “fresh thinking” along with a “business” approach in order to enhance creativity, efficiency and sustainability, whist identifying opportunities for future growth and development. It was not specifically about commercialisation or technology transfer but recommendations may include a “business unit” consider for example, becoming a spinout, joint venture or a social enterprise, based on what is considered to be most appropriate. The acid test of the pilot was the quality of the business plans that were presented to a ‘dragons den’ including funders and investors at the Life Sciences Hub in Cardiff.
On the back of this project our very own Benjamin Land was the Public Value Placement Student of the Year for 2015/16 award.