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Dr Hakim Yadi announced as Chair of Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland

Dr Hakim Yadi has been appointed the first Non-Executive Chairman of Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI), Northern Ireland’s new partnership which works with stakeholders from across the life and health science sector to improve the quality of health and wellbeing of our citizens, as well as boosting the local economy.

The HIRANI will act as ‘one voice’ to enable the sector to collectively promote and strategically position itself nationally and internationally by collaborating and connecting across business; capitalising on major opportunities; enabling innovation; tackling barriers to growth; and advocating for the health and wealth of the region and the citizens of Northern Ireland.

The ambition is that the result of this increase in activity will result in a surge of economic activity across the sector significantly impacting on the region’s prosperity and an increase in the exposure of the Northern Irish population to cutting edge medical innovation which will have a direct impact on health and wellbeing.

Dr Yadi joins HIRANI from the highly-successful Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), where he was the chief executive for six years. As a founding CEO of the NHSA, he brought together for first time eight research-based NHS hospitals, the North of England’s Academic Health Science Networks and eight universities to collaborate on improving health outcomes across the North of England.

He was instrumental in raising the profile of the high morbidity rates of the North of England in parliament, with investors and in the media to improve healthcare services for the 15 million people living there.  He was also a founding member of the UK Department of International Trade Life Sciences Organisation and awarded an OBE in 2017 for his services to Healthcare Technology and the Economy.

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, and a HIRANI board member, said: “I am delighted that Dr Yadi is joining the partnership. He will be a great boost to our work in collaborating between government, business and academia and help put together a strategy which will improve the region’s healthcare outcomes as well as attract inward investment.”

Dr Yadi, is Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Closed Loop Medicine Ltd, an early- stage UK therapeutics company combining known drug treatments with digital therapeutics working on developing personalised treatment regimens for a variety of disease areas.

HIRANI, which is run by interim CEO, Dr Robert Grundy, works closely with Northern Ireland’s two universities, public sector bodies and local industry.  Dr Grundy commenting on the announcement said: “Having Hakim as Chair of the HIRANI Board gives us a huge advantage as we seek to move quickly to establish an organization that delivers significant value to stakeholders across academia, clinical research and industry. By leveraging his experience with the NHSA we have a great opportunity to exert a positive impact on Northern Ireland’s health and prosperity.”

Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University Research and External Affairs, and a HIRANI board member, said: “Dr Yadi is an experienced medical innovation professional with strong leadership skills that will help drive and support HRANI’s ambitious growth plans. HRANI’s partnership approach led by Dr Yadi will strategically position Northern Ireland’s Life and Health Sciences sector on a global stage to amplify its impact and ensure it is present in national and international conversations.”

The partnership’s objective is to ensure that Northern Ireland is well-connected with the wider UK network, as well as international organisations to work on improving commercial links.

The HIRANI is supported by Invest NI, Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Research & Development Office (HSC R&D), the Department of Health (DoH) and Department for the Economy (DfE) and additional board members includes Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Impact) of Ulster University and Professor Ian Young, the Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health.