Life Sciences Hub Wales

Inspiring Innovation is our monthly round-up of news from a thriving innovation landscape collated by our Sector Intelligence Team. It fuels our ambitions to elevate Wales as a place of choice for health and social care innovation and investment.

Inspiring Innovation/Ysbrydoli Arloesedd

So far this year, we’ve seen Swansea University’s plans develop a world-first research and innovation “Living Lab”, the launch of TrakCel’s new Consultancy Service, and Cardiff University’s new research project into childhood brain development.

Swansea University to develop world-first research and innovation “Living Lab” 

Swansea University have been awarded £1.5 million to create a living laboratory that harnesses 5G infrastructure to improve population health and well-being. The living laboratory will support the development of new technologies to support population health, such as new sensors that can help to monitor physical and mental well-being and improve quality of life. 


This project is expected to attract industry, investment, and jobs to the region, with the opportunity to co-locate alongside clinical infrastructure, sports and well-being facilities, and academic expertise. 

Professor Keith Lloyd, project lead, said: 

“Swansea University is delighted to have the opportunity to develop this unique innovation testbed. We are grateful to the Swansea Bay City Deal Digital Infrastructure Programme for enabling us to deliver a significant resource for the region and for Wales. It is our ambition that the research and innovation environment we are creating will deliver real benefits for the local community as well as for the NHS and sport.”  

Find out more about the “Living Lab”

TrakCel launches Consultancy Service for Cell and Gene Therapy sector 

Cardiff-based provider of cell and gene therapy (CGT) software solutions TrakCel, have launched a new consulting service to support CGT developers to optimise supply chains for clinical and commercial therapies.  

TrakCel Consulting Service will share its extensive experience in CGT process development with CGT developers and will offer services in Chain Of Identity (COI) Strategy and Methodology, Data Protection and Compliance, Label Design and Compliance, Supply Chain Risk Assessment, and Software as a Service (SaaS). 

Matthew Lakelin, Ph.D, Head of TrakCel Consulting Services, said: 

“The launch of TrakCel Consultancy Services reflects extensive feedback from throughout the cell and gene therapy industry. Whether at set-up, clinical inflection points or anywhere between, TrakCel is uniquely positioned to tap into the collective experience and deliver, based on our work over the last decade.” 

Find out more about the new consulting service

Cardiff University lead research into childhood brain development with £6m grant 

Researchers from Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Innovation Institute (NMHII) and Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) have been awarded the Wellcome Discovery Award to lead a research project into childhood brain development, in partnership with Cambridge University and the Donders Institute in the Netherlands. 

The grant will allow researchers to investigate changes in developing brains in people between the ages of 8 and 18. The research will analyse the brain at a microscopic and macroscopic level to understand how changes in the brain are linked to cognitive, social and emotional development. The goal of this research is to inform possible new methods for the early detection of mental health risks, and to provide an evidence base for longer-term interventions. 

Professor Rogier Kievit of Donders Institute said: 

“We increasingly realize that to truly understand the development of the brain and challenges that might arise, we must study how the brains and behaviours of people change over time. This project will allow us a unique combination of spatial precision across a period of years to see how brain changes emerge and unfold.” 

Find out more about the research project