The AWRC Innovation Futures programme, based at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), will bring a cohort of 20 young people into the health and wellbeing ‘innovation ecosystem’ to explore and learn how they could play a part in developing businesses, products and services that help improve health.
The initial four-month youth engagement programme, which starts in February, aims to raise aspirations, expand networks, improve understanding of the innovation ecosystem and provide dedicated personal development funding to help each participant develop a pathway towards securing learning and career opportunities in one of the region’s key sectors. The programme is co-sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and HGF Ltd, leading European intellectual property specialists with an office in Sheffield.
The programme is open to all aged 16- to 23-years-old in the region, with individuals who are not in education or employment encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is 2nd January 2023, and financial assistance is in place to enable in-person event attendance.
Each participant’s plan will be individually tailored to ensure they establish relevant and worthwhile contacts in the health and wellbeing sector. Personal development funding will be available once the programme has completed to support their next steps, and the cohort will also be invited to remain part of the AWRC community acting as their youth voice.
Vanessa Stainthorpe, partner and DEI sponsor, HGF Ltd said: “We are committed to supporting initiatives around social mobility and tackling inequality in our society. This programme delivered by the team at the AWRC and Sheffield Hallam University will inspire, give support and a pathway to a group of young people in the Sheffield city region who may otherwise have not had the opportunity to think about careers in science and technology.”
Jason Brannan, deputy director of Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, said: “Our programme has social mobility and tackling inequalities at its heart, aiming to attract young people from the region’s most underserved wards, this is also central to the mission of the AWRC. Health and wellbeing has been identified as part of the region’s economic future and will be an important element of its emerging innovation district, providing employment and training opportunities for future generations across South Yorkshire.”
The £16 million Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, based at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move. Its mission is to prevent and treat chronic disease and tackle inequalities through co-designed research into physical activity, whilst also attracting new jobs and investment to the region.
The AWRC Innovation Futures programme aligns with Sheffield Hallam University’s Civic University Agreement commitment to partner with local communities to help tackle health inequalities and address specific health challenges.