BCU showcases health expertise in UAE

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Staff from Birmingham City University have joined forces with the Midlands Engine initiative to showcase their academic expertise, research strengths and training offer at one of the world’s largest healthcare exhibitions.

Arab Health attracts over 100,000 professionals to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and exhibitors attend from over 160 countries. Taking place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2017, it offers a platform on which to build relationships within the healthcare industry, to showcase progress and achievement in the sector, and to explore new opportunities with stakeholders in the healthcare field.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention was impressed by training opportunities offered by the University and the two institutions are now hoping to collaborate on areas including preventative healthcare, management of long term conditions and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, three large hospitals in Dubai were interested in systems and process management expertise offered by academics at Birmingham City University.

The University visited Arab Health alongside the Midlands Engine, a government-backed initiative that aims to boost economic growth across the region through enhanced trade and investment. Their involvement ensured staff from Birmingham City University’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise team enjoyed pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with overseas commercial advisers and buyers. They also had the opportunity to take part in the additional activity arranged by the Department of International Trade (DIT), including a networking reception and several optional site visits.

Dr Umar Daraz, Director of Innovation at Birmingham City University, said:

“We were pleased to work closely with Midlands Engine and its partners to showcase our expertise and to explore new opportunities with stakeholders in the healthcare field at Arab Health. The conference is the second largest healthcare exhibition and congress in the world and the largest in the Middle East, so we enjoyed a very significant global platform.

“The visit to Dubai allowed Birmingham City University to build a strong network in the region to explore future opportunities and partnerships. In addition, we made contacts with many healthcare providers in the UK over a very short space of time, including within the Midlands Engine delegation, which will lead to opportunities for business development and research.

The UAE is one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in the world. Their annual spend on healthcare in 2014 was $14 billion.

This market is set for significant growth over the coming years, and the country is currently investing in an ambitious hospital build programme designed to turn the country into the Gulf’s leading medical tourism hub, which is creating massive opportunities throughout the healthcare supply chain.

Ian Harrison, Department of International Trade’s Acting Regional Director for the Midlands, said:

“Whilst we can’t underestimate the growing importance of global trade being conducted online, most is still undertaken by meeting people face-to-face and getting to know customers and their requirements via the personal touch.

“That’s why it can be so beneficial for first-time and established exporters within the Midlands Engine to join DIT trade missions such as that to Arab Health.”

Following the exhibition, academic staff from the fields of life sciences, health, business and computing at Birmingham City University plan to visit the UAE later this year to deliver training sessions and work with key healthcare providers in the region.

Arab Health took place between 30 January and 2 February.

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