The Cardiff Joint Research Office, a collaboration between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, has officially opened.
The new office supports a joint approach to the development and delivery of healthcare research and aims to make the Welsh capital one of the best places in the UK for clinical research.
It will join the two workforces in one space to integrate their work with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of the people in Wales and beyond.
Its opening was marked by a launch event attended by Professor Ian Weeks, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University, and Len Richards, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, on Thursday.
Professor Weeks said: "The Cardiff Joint Research Office is a major development arising from our partnership with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. This collaboration will strengthen our clinical research capabilities and provide further opportunities to undertake vital medical research leading to innovation and improvements in patient care."
Mr Richards said:"The strong and longstanding relationship we have with Cardiff University has significantly benefited clinical research in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, and establishing the new Cardiff Joint Research Office will take this to an exciting new level, providing an important step towards realising our joint ambition of being a world-leading centre for medical and healthcare education, clinical and biomedical life sciences research, and clinical innovation.
"Our research teams have recently been in the spotlight for their leading role in identifying effective treatments for COVID-19, but they are often unsung heroes for their outstanding ongoing efforts to find tomorrow’s treatments for today’s illnesses."
The research office is the first of its kind in Wales and it will work to deliver high quality and high impact research to help improve patient outcomes and secure optimal provision of health and clinical services at a national and international level.
Professor Colin Dayan, Director, said: "After years of planning, it is an exciting moment to finally bring teams from Cardiff and Vale Health Board and Cardiff University together in the Cardiff Joint Research Office.
"The pandemic has shown how important health research is in our lives. Cardiff was the first site in the UK to be open for the Recovery Trial and contributed many patients to this and the vaccine studies that has saved so many lives. Nearly 6,000 patients were entered into clinical trials last year in Cardiff and Vale and the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences at Cardiff University had over 1,000 active grants totalling more than £180m of funding. Despite these feats, many patients are still not offered involvement in a clinical trial and there is much more we can do.
"The launch of the Cardiff JRO is the beginning of a journey to work more closely together by smoothing and accelerating joint processes, promoting collaboration, improving facilities and capacity, and making Cardiff one of the best places in the UK to do clinical research."