German science leaders visited Imperial’s White City Campus to discover how researchers are working with the local community on health challenges.
The delegation, from Baden-Württemberg, met with Imperial’s Vice President Maggie Dallman and heard about the development of Imperial’s White City Campus and how it is working with the local community and industry on major public health projects.
Professor Dallman said: “White City is an incredible campus for what it’s doing in terms of regeneration in the local community and acting as a magnate for exciting companies, start-ups and corporates to come to this region.”
Baden-Württemberg is one of the leading economic and innovative regions in Germany and Europe. Its Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann was visiting the UK to focus on key issues of artificial intelligence and digitalisation in the health care sector.
Professor Dallman explained how White City was bringing together scientists, industry with the local community to help solve global challenges such as public health.
Professor Dallman said: “Around 36% of the local community lives in relative poverty and there are severe health inequities, so we’re trying to embed those people into the work that we’re doing.
"The whole point of this campus is to bring local residents together with brilliant scientists to come up with novel solutions. For example, we have a huge research programme which involves putting devices into people’s homes to work out what’s going in in terms of pollution.”
The project will help scientists better understand how the composition, concentration and exposures of air pollutants affect children with asthma and people living in urban homes.
“Imperial's impressive industry partnerships offer a great view for us as to how academia and business can operate, particularly with the use of artificial intelligence (AI)." Petra Olschowski State Secretary at the Ministry for Science, Research and Arts
Petra Olschowski, State Secretary at the Ministry for Science, Research and Arts, said: “Imperial's impressive industry partnerships offer a great view for us as to how academia and business can operate, particularly with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). With numerous healthcare challenges are societies face, no country or institute can tackle these great problems on their own. We continue to realise the potential for collaboration.
"We look forward to continuing collaborations with the UK as an associated country in the Horizon programme. We are particularly interested in potential for AI and ML to impact healthcare in the future.”
The State Secretary was joined by Dr Patrick Rapp, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism, and other leaders from German industry, academia and institutes.
AI in healthcare
Imperial’s Professor Aldo Faisal, from the Departments of Computing and Bioengineering, spoke about how researchers are using AI and Machine learning with patient health data, collected from the local north-west London area, to solve health care challenges.
"We’re setting up a test-bed facility for AI for healthcare algorithms, that allows external partners and academic partners to come and test algorithms here.” Professor Aldo Faisal Departments of Computing and Bioengineering
Professor Faisal, who is Director of the £20m UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Healthcare, said: “We have a unique data space of primary and secondary healthcare data for a highly diverse community. We’re using these data sets and these type of studies in addition to high-resolution clinical trials.
"We’re setting up a test-bed facility for AI for healthcare algorithms, that allows external partners and academic partners to come and test algorithms here.”
Imperial's Professor Eric Yeatman, co-Director of I-X, spoke about the new project which aims to co-locate and deeply embed industry in the College's research and education. Based at White City Campus, I-X provides a new co-located collaborative environment for research, education, and entrepreneurship across artificial intelligence, data science and digital technologies based at our White City Campus.
Imperial's Director of Enterprise, Dr Simon Hepworth, explained how the White City Campus had become home to an entrepreneurial ecosystem with support, resources and facilities that span ideation, growth and acceleration. He highlighted the state-of-the-art Incubator facility and the new innovation centre, Scale Space.
Professor Joachim E. Fischer, Director of the Center for Preventive Medicine and Digital Health Baden-Württemberg said: "What you’re trying here is a two way road of translation, we have to learn from communities, what they think are the problems and solutions, and how they can inspire the research that we do. Imperial is almost jumping into the next century with what you're trying to do here at White City."
Imperial and Germany
Imperial has many strong and long-standing collaborations with partners in Germany. In the last five years there have been more than 8,000 co-publications with authors across 459 institutions in Germany, including places such as Heidelberg University and the German Cancer Research Center.
Imperial and the Technical University of Munich have also formed a flagship partnership in education, research and innovation. As part of this collaboration the two institutes launched a joint PhD programme that focuses on AI, robotics and healthcare.
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