School of Engineering to play leading role in Legal & General £20m research centre

The School of Engineering is to play a leading role in a major new partnership between Legal & General and the University of Edinburgh which aims to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered.

Today, there are more than 12 million over-65s in the UK and this figure is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years. Increasing life expectancy is to be celebrated, but it poses major challenges for individuals, families and the public and private sectors.

Multidisciplinary approach

The new partnership will establish the Advanced Care Research Centre (“ACRC”) – the first of its kind in the UK – offering a seven-year multi-disciplinary research programme combining fields including medicine, engineering, life sciences, informatics, data and social sciences.

The Centre will enable data-driven, personalised and affordable care that delivers independence, dignity and a high quality of life for people living in their own homes or in supported care environments.

New Academy

The ACRC includes an Academy, led by the School’s Professor Ian Underwood, which will focus on research, training and enterprise.

Providing cross-disciplinary PhD research opportunities, the Academy will equip a new generation of graduates to lead improvements in later life care across the private, public, research and third sectors.

The Academy will also promote and encourage the uptake and application of research outcomes to generate real improvements in later life care on the ground, in close cooperation with the University’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations.

Data-driven innovation

The partnership with Legal & General marks the University’s largest industry investment to be confirmed as part of the £661m Data-Driven Innovation initiative within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The DDI initiative is accelerating the City Region’s capacity to deliver trusted data-driven innovation across ten sectors, including health and social care, in collaboration with industry and the public sector.

“Ground-breaking collaboration”

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to host this ground-breaking collaboration with colleagues at Legal & General. This exceptional partnership will re-imagine care for the mid-21st century. As our population ages, so we need to develop innovative new approaches to provide individually-tailored care. This is the big challenge that the partners will address, bringing to bear pioneering research from the brightest academic minds across multiple disciplines to deliver creative and trusted solutions to solving real world problems.”

Dr Nigel Wilson, Group CEO of Legal & General added, “Edinburgh’s open-sourced, data-based and cross-disciplinary approach will deliver vital positive change to ageing and care and we find this a compelling and practical vision. The partnerships we are forging with premier institutions up and down the country, from the University of Oxford to Bath University and now Edinburgh will help shift the dial in the delivery of science, technology and ageing care for many future generations to come.”