A GLOBAL IT and business consultancy firm has partnered with a North-East technology network to help grow the region's health tech expertise.

Earlier this year, Canadian-headquartered firm CGI partnered with Dynamo North East as part of its plans to increase its presence in the region, but the pair are now pooling resources to grow a health tech cluster.

Health tech forecast to grow rapidly with the effects of the ageing population and demand on the NHS for both new treatments and cost efficiencies.

The Association of British HealthTech Industries claims the sector is the largest employer in the wider life sciences industry, employing nearly 130,000 people in 3,860 companies with a combined turnover of £24bn.

Cluster lead Emma Whitenstall said: "We are keen to open up new opportunities for them, foster cross-sector collaboration between the healthcare sector, academia and industry, whilst exploiting some of the unique assets that we have in the region such as the National Innovation Centres for Ageing and Data, and Proto.

"What we have here in the north east is special and want to support, grow and promote the region as a leader in health tech.

“One of our first tasks will be to map and research the regional health tech sector so we understand the good work that it already ongoing and then look to see how we can help and support growth."

Dynamo’s health tech cluster will feed into a wider regional agenda led by the NE LEP working in collaboration with the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and Cumbria, NHS Business Services Authority and other key partners.

Mark Thompson, CGI’s director of consulting services in the North-East, said: “Digitisation and improved technology is becoming increasingly important within the NHS, the NHS Business Service Authority, CCGs and other health bodies and there are a growing number of organisations within the north east responding to that.

"We’re excited by our partnership with Dynamo and look forward to sharing best practice and lessons learned across the region’s health tech sector. CGI already works with health trusts in the region, and we see ourselves as part of the growing ecosystem here."