Hosted with our partners at Alder Hey’s Institute in the Park, the event focused on providing a platform for researchers and clinicians to come together to present projects, discuss ideas, funding opportunities and informally network. The event also included informative presentations from all three University faculties, a key thread across presentations was the importance of cross organisational, cross-faculty and interdisciplinary research. 

Professor Michael Beresford, Brough Chair and Professor of Child Health at the University of Liverpool, said: “The challenge we are facing today is, how do we make a meaningful impact on the wellbeing of children? The University of Liverpool and Alder Hey are committed to creating new collaborations that are locally relevant, and have a worldwide impact.

Councillor Barry Kushner, from Liverpool City Council, provided an important anchor to the day, focusing on the importance of children’s health across the City and the important work of UNICEF Child-Friendly City. He said: “The University of Liverpool and Alder Hey are key to the energy and drive in the city of Liverpool. Collaborations like this are helping improve lives of children in this city. The whole city has to work together collaboratively to improve children’s lives, just as UoL and AH work together.”

Professor Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Liverpool, who spoke at the event about the University’s priorities, themes, and commitment to the partnership with Alder Hey said: “The city of Liverpool has made a commitment to address inequality facing children, and the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey are playing major parts in tackling this issue.”

The event was also an opportunity to hear from Liverpool Health Partners (LHP), from a cross-programme perspective, particularly focusing on the LHP ‘Starting Well’ programme and how this strategy will inform future work around maternal and child health research across all thirteen partners.

As part of the event the second funding call for the Hugh Greenwood Legacy Children’s Health Research fund was also launched. The fund, which was launched last year following an £800,000 donation to the Development and Alumni Relations team by The Children’s Research Fund,  to promote and develop collaborative child health research projects between the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

In addition to the presentations, delegates took part in a live hackathon, whereby they delivered a 60-second pitch to the audience. Pitches covered a whole range of subjects from monitoring, reducing and eliminating infections in CNS fluid after head injuries, through to the effective design of next generation wheelchairs and personal mobility devices whose enhanced functionality gives freedom and independence to their users.

The hackathon provided the opportunity for delegate to concisely and enthusiastically present a research idea or clinical challenge, to benefit children’s health to a mixed room full of clinicians and academics from a range of different backgrounds, with the aim of sparking new collaborations & applications to the funding scheme.

Dr Farnaz Nickpour, Engineering and Industrial Design, University Liverpool, said: "I received funding in the first round for two very different projects. I particularly liked the innovative element of the call; asking for new partnerships between senior academics and clinicians, in new areas of investigation. 

The hackathon, proved a real catalyst of innovation; the queue of clinicians and academics wanting to share their ideas kept growing as we went along; participants kept listening to one another, and new ideas started to emerge and build upon one another. A great success for all involved.”

The Hugh Greenwood Legacy Children’s Health Research fund, named after its patron and Honorary Graduate, Sir Hugh Greenwood OBE (Hon LLD 2012), supports co-supervised (non-clinical) PhD studentships, clinical and non- clinical fellowships and collaborative pump priming awards. The deadline for the current round of funding is 16:00 Monday 22 July 2019. For further information and guidance please contact hughgreenwoodfund@liverpool.ac.uk

Alder Hey Children's Charity
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