As the UK’s first World Health Organisation  age-friendly city region with a long and distinguished history in developing a leading research and development base for healthcare innovation, Manchester demonstrates its commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to support healthy ageing in a variety of ways.  

Here are five reasons why Greater Manchester is a prime location for healthy ageing diagnostics.  

Rich History 

Manchester has a rich history in scientific innovation spanning hundreds of years, which has led to the creation of pioneering treatments such as the Bionic Eye, Proton Beam Therapy and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).  

The city-region's collective expertise in medicine, biomarker research, vaccine diagnostics development and medical devices, is still recognised worldwide and continues to develop thanks to its digital-first strategy and ambition for tech-enabled solutions.  

National Recognition  

Manchester has been awarded a ‘High Potential Opportunity’ (HPO) designation by the Department for Business and Trade, acknowledging the role diagnostics plays to support healthy ageing from birth. This recognition identifies Manchester as a place to validate, deploy and scale diagnostic devices. 

With this status, the city-region benefits from its global network, which sets out to showcase the region’s healthy ageing opportunity on the international stage positioning the region for commercial and investment opportunities.   


Facilities for testing  

Greater Manchester officially has the quickest recruitment time for Clinical Trials in the UK. 

In a recent independent review by Lord James O'Shaughnessy into the UK commercial clinical trials landscape Greater Manchester was highlighted as bucking the national trend, increasing the   number of patients recruited to commercial trials activity in recent years with a 44% increase in patients from 2017 to 2018 to 2021 to 2022.

The National Institute for Healthcare and Research (NIHR) Greater Manchester and its regional health and social care providers have become a hub of commercial research delivery and was highlighted in the review as a best in practise example. Read more here.  

Over the past 5 years, over 250,000 people have taken part in research studies in the region with Greater Manchester being the top-performing UK facility, exceeding the national benchmark for the past 5 years with 100% recruitment to time and 88% recruitment to target >10% higher than the next best performing.  

Manchester University’s Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) based right in the city centre is another asset – a leading research centre carrying out research into fundamental questions about ageing. 

We're also home to UK Biobank, a national and international health resource to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses. The UK Biobank is linked to a wide range of electronic health records (cancer, death, hospital episodes, general practice), and physical blood/tissue samples. The facility is supported by the NHS and is open to researchers anywhere in the world, including those funded by academia and industry.   


Trailblazing Devolution Deal  

Greater Manchester’s ambition is to be the location to ‘grow up, get on and grow old’ and in 2016, was the first UK city to have devolved control of its £6 billion health and social care budget allowing the region to develop a more streamlined pathway overseen by Health Innovation Manchester.  

Health Innovation Manchester has developed over recent years to create a world-leading integrated health science and innovation system. Formed in October 2017, HInM brought together the former Greater Manchester academic health science network (GM AHSN) and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) under a single umbrella. 

Most recently a new Devolution Deal was signed, Greater Manchester's first devolution deal with the Government since 2017. Greater Manchester’s Mayor and 10 Leaders have hailed the city-region’s this as the most significant yet - securing much greater influence over crucial policy areas.  


Central Manchester Innovation Ecosystem  

Manchester unique offer as a preventative healthcare hub, is the specific colocation of industry, academia and the NHS.  

Home to leading research centres such as the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) and Salford Institute for Dementia and Ageing, and with support provided by MIDAS) Greater Manchester Ageing Hub and the Growth Hub, among others, the location is full of opportunity. 

Support for R&D and Business Development is available from across the ecosystem and includes:  

Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology  

A multi-million pound research institute, created by a consortium comprising Manchester Foundation Trust (MFT), Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and Health Innovation Manchester to capitalise on the regions strengths in digital  health, advanced materials & related technologies to support development of innovative products and services for healthcare.  


The MedTech Centre   

A specialist business incubator for and early-stage healthcare businesses located on the Oxford Road Corridor. It is a joint venture between MSP, MFT, the MedTech centre supports businesses developing medical device and digitally enabled health technologies. 

Businesses such as Qiagen, Yourgene Health, Hologic, Zilico and Kratos Analytical have chosen Manchester to develop, deploy and scale their innovation.  


Read more about Health Ageing in Manchester

To find out how your business can be at the forefront of age-friendly innovation, contact Head of Inward Investment for Life Sciences, Andrea Winders.


Image courtesy of MICRA