Liverpool City Region to become home to new global infection innovation hub

2nd November 2021

A new world-class multi-million pound facility, set to prepare public health experts and scientists for future health crises, such as global pandemics, is to open in Liverpool.

The new centre will cement Liverpool’s reputation as a world-leading hub for infection innovation, research, and learning and provide training for the global health leaders of the future.

Secured with funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the centre will be operated by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON).

It is been set up as a response to a growing need for a step-change in training to equip health professionals to deal with the global health challenges of the future. Those challenges could include emerging pandemics, drug resistant infections, and rapid mass outbreaks of infection.

Building on the Liverpool city region’s world-leading capability in infectious disease research and innovation, it will provide a bespoke centre for world-class collaborative and interactive online learning, industry collaboration, and community engagement and training.

Located in Pembroke House, on the corner of London Road and Daulby Street, the centre will sit in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter and will undergo an extensive refurbishment.

Its external façade will be retained while internal works will deliver a contemporary space with state-of-the-art facilities with immersive and experiential technologies at its core. Work is due to complete ahead of LSTM’s 125th anniversary in 2023.

The centre will enable LSTM to expand its teaching portfolio and support impactful global partnerships in teaching and research. It will enhance LSTM’s educational collaboration with overseas partners and students, linking learning on-campus in Liverpool into a world-class, globally connected digital learning environment.

Offering innovative learning platforms and cutting-edge facilities, including immersive reality technology, the centre will be used to train future health leaders, both globally and across the Liverpool city region and the wider North West, and support increasing industry, NHS and academic collaboration.

iiCON, which has established a world-leading centre of infection R&D in the North West, will utilise the centre to drive forward partnerships between industry, research, and the NHS. These will support pioneering infection innovation R&D, contributing to the Liverpool city region target of R&D increasing to 5% of GDP.

Professor Janet Hemingway, iiCON director, said:

“Pembroke House will act as a catalyst for innovation, bringing together industry, academia, and our regional community in world-class facilities where collaboration will thrive, and the next generation of talented global health leaders will be trained and inspired.

“Having a dedicated space to support and enable our industry partners on their innovation journey through high-quality training, networking, and partnering is at the heart of the iiCON ambition.”

Dr Martyn Stewart, LSTM’s interim head of education, added:

“LSTM’s mission has always been about training global health leaders of the future, and Pembroke house will enable us to deliver a student-centred authentic context for learning.

“Through scenarios, simulations and immersive learning we will be able to replicate real world situations for our students both in the UK and, exploiting the connectivity that the centre will have to offer, those overseas too.

Established in 2020 with government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund, iiCON is a collaborative £173.5m R&D programme that has established a world-leading centre of infectious disease R&D in the North West of England.

For more on Liverpool’s iiCON and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, follow the inks.