Press release

London takes its place among healthcare innovation elite cities of the world

Jeremy Hunt launches London Centre of Innovation Excellence and new app library to help people live well.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The UK’s worldwide reputation for innovation in healthcare will be sealed today as Jeremy Hunt launches London’s new centre of innovation excellence established by US healthcare firm Johnson & Johnson that will bring high-tech jobs and investment to the capital.

Johnson and Johnson is the world’s largest healthcare company, with total sales of $67.2 billion in 2012. Along with new centres in Boston, Shanghai and San Francisco, London’s centre will scout, develop and promote new technologies so that the latest cutting-edge inventions and techniques can be used in the NHS and beyond.

This new centre will help promote new jobs and business for Universities, Research Councils and Research Charities – which will be directly hired in order to deliver on the centre’s science projects.

The UK has one of the strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world, contributing to patient well-being as well as supporting breakthroughs in science and economic growth. The announcement is further evidence of the Coalition Government’s determination to put the UK at the forefront of the global race for new business and hi-tech industry.

The centre will focus on technologies in key areas:

  • dementia
  • cancer
  • infectious diseases
  • immunology
  • biomarkers for disease
  • surgical devices to make surgery quicker, faster and safer

Speaking at Innovation Expo 2013, Jeremy Hunt will say:

I want to give doctors and nurses the time and space to deliver patient centred care – to do this we need to innovate.

Britain has a worldwide reputation for excellence in innovation – the investment by Johnson & Johnson here demonstrates this and I am delighted to welcome this new centre to the UK.

Our universities are among the very best in the world and our scientists and clinicians are second to none. I am determined to cement and accelerate our position as the number one place for health and pharmaceutical companies to invest and grow and hopefully develop the next generation of medical breakthroughs. Paul Stoffels MD, Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, said:

Science and technology hold unprecedented opportunities to transform healthcare, and by investing and collaborating in groundbreaking science we can deliver transformational innovations in healthcare to people across the world.

Patrick Verheyen, the head of J&J’s London Innovation Centre said:

At Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to ensuring healthcare remains not only a significant source of economic prosperity in the UK, but also a driving force for improving the health and happiness of people worldwide.

Innovation Expo will showcase other examples of fresh thinking and creative solutions to prevent ill health and improve care. This includes the new Health Apps Library to help the public easily find safe and trusted apps to help manage their health.

The library will be continually added to and currently includes around 70 apps to provide advice and support for a range of conditions, access to online services and general health and fitness information.

Ten new apps are being launched at Expo, several of which have been developed by UK companies. These include:

  • HealthFabric – allows people to create and share online care plans with their clinician, aimed at people with dementia and other long-term conditions. It is currently available through 7 CCGs in theMidlands.

  • eRedbook – the first digital version of the current Personal Child Health Record. The record, held by the parents of the child, can be updated by the parents to include general information of a child’s health, growth, immunisations and development after the child visits a health professional. This is being trialled in 4 areas – Rotherham, Grampian, Liverpool and South Warwickshire.

  • Patient Access Mobile- allows patients to get GP services like appointment and repeat prescriptions booking through your phone. It is free and available at any practice that has activated EMIS patient access. (computer system GPs use).

  • PatientsKnowBest – Allows patients to get their laboratory results and send secure messages with their doctors and nurses. Being trialled across 20 hospitals and 8 clinical commissioning groups

  • Well Happy – Helps young people to find help when they need it. It will link young people to local mental health, sexual health and substance misuse services in London.

  • RallyRound – allows invited family, neighbours and friends to organise themselves online around relatives that need care. Everyone can see what needs doing and who is doing what. Rally Round helps families to better support frail and vulnerable people.

  • Clinical Trials – allows the public to find clinical trials based upon the conditions they have and where they live. This will not only help those patients but also accelerate the pace of research and bring about faster cures.

Jeremy Hunt will also highlight how the Government is helping voluntary sector organisations play their role in improving health and care through innovation as he announced new awards from the £5.5 million Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund.

These will cover a wide range of innovations from tailored online psychological support for people with skin conditions, to support for children and young people to take control of their own mental health services online.

Background information

Further information on Johnson and Johnson’s London centre of innovation can be found on their website or by calling Johnson and Johnson UK press office on 0019084051144 or 0016504914901.

They have chosen London as a site because proximity with a number of excellent Universities, Research Councils and Research Charities; the high concentration of SME biotechs; the venture capital community in the City of London for raising funds; and good infrastructure links.

The Health Apps Library can be found at For further information on the apps library contact the NHS Commissioning Board press office on 07768 901293.

The Government has made a series of important announcements in support of the life sciences sector, The Plan for Growth, announced in March 2011, The Strategy for UK Life Sciences and Innovation Health and Wealth – Accelerating Adoption and Diffusion in the NHS in December 2011.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), aims to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.

  • Last year the NIHR Clinical Research Network, which is working with 596 companies, recruited nearly 600,000 participants into clinical research studies and between Sept – Dec 2012 achieved 8 global firsts in patient recruitment to commercial contract studies.

  • 1 in 6 cancer patients are participating in clinical trials.

  • In 2012, £800 million in funding over five years was committed to the most outstanding NHS and University partnerships in the country to drive progress on innovation and translational research in biomedicine, as 11 NIHR Biomedicine Research Centres and 20 Biomedicine Research Units were established. Earlier, the world’s first gene-therapy for inherited blindness in teenagers was carried out at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital/ UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London.

  • The Prime Minister’s programme of work to push further and faster progress in the prevention, treatment and cure of dementia encompasses not just the basic and translational research needed to develop and test new preventive approaches, diagnostics and treatments, but also brings together social research and healthcare communities, to ensure we address issues right now around what works to deliver high levels of care.

For further information on this or Innovation Expo generally, call the Department of Health press office on 0207 210 5707.

Innovation Expo details are also available at the Expo website.

Published 14 March 2013