The All Wales Medical Genomics Service (AWMGS) are delighted to announce the business case submitted to Welsh Government seeking capital funding to secure Cardiff Edge has been ratified and officially approved by the Health Minister for Wales, Eluned Morgan.
The welcomed news comes following four years of considerable consultation, planning and preparation with key partners and stakeholders to undertake a comprehensive needs analysis to ensure the new premises is ‘future proof’ to meet the requirements of our staff, patients and colleagues. Furthermore providing AWMGS with the foundations ‘to create a sustainable, internationally competitive environment for genetics and genomics to improve health and healthcare provision for the people of Wales’ as detailed in the ‘Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy, 2017’.
Genomics Partnership Wales’ vision, “working together to harness the potential of genomics to improve the health, wealth and prosperity of the people of Wales” has been long been underpinned by the commitment to co-locate three key partner organisations; the All Wales Medical Genomics Service; Public Health Wales’ Pathogen Genomics Unit and Wales Gene Park, hosted by Cardiff University. This progressive model sees Wales become the first UK Nation to ensure that genomics can benefit from true integration; pooled resources, shared knowledge and expertise – to ensure that Wales’ genomic health and research provision is fit for the future. This will enable Wales to attract and retain the best minds and to build a truly resilient infrastructure that will support the rapid development anticipated in the field of precision medicine in the years to come.
Cardiff Edge was previously home to the GE Healthcare Innovation Village which had a significant presence in genomic analysis. So it is quite fitting the move, scheduled for an organised phased transition will bring genomics back to its original home.
Upon hearing the positive outcome, Managing Director Clive Morgan said:
“This really is incredibly exciting news. The signing of the business case is an important step as we progress our ambition for world leading genomics in Wales at pace. It will also enable the realisation of many short and medium term benefits for AWMGS and our Genomics Partnership Wales colleagues as part of our journey to be at the heart of a globally recognised precision medicine ecosystem in Wales.
The co-location of GPW’s partners at the Cardiff edge site will offer something different in the field of genomics and provide Wales with a distinct competitive advantage integrating research and clinical service delivery. The further integration of the 3 Welsh regions as part of a precision health infrastructure will further strengthen this advantage by making a national integrated clinical / research offer for Wales. Our ambition for the region and wider Wales is to become an international destination for genomics and precision health research, to attract global commercial partners and to create jobs and wealth for the population of Wales”.
Head of Laboratories, Sian Morgan said:
“I am so delighted we have reached such a pivotal milestone which will be of a great relief to everyone who has worked tirelessly on the business case. Cardiff Edge will by hugely impactful for Wales Gene Park, PENGU and AWMGS and we will hugely benefit from the increased capacity and opportunities the new development will forge.
This development will provide an integrated, national approach to human and pathogen genomic data analysis. I am confident the relocation will further support our expanding technological infrastructure which will allow our talented and diverse scientists, genetic technologists and bioinformaticians to strive and achieve great things for the benefit of our patients and families who are in receipt of our services. In addition, our ambition is also simultaneously drive national and regional genomic Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) opportunities, whilst also attracting collaboration and investment from private industry’’.
Speaking on behalf of our clinical team and patients, Dr Alex Murray, Clinical Lead for AWMGS said:
“I’m delighted to hear we’ve had approval to move forward with our move to a new genomics facility at the Cardiff Edge site. This will provide modern facilities in pleasant surroundings that we hope will be welcomed by our patients and staff alike. It will bring all AWMGS staff together in one building for the first time in nearly 20 years, allowing better collaboration and joint working with our partners - Wales Gene Park and the Pathogen Genomics Unit. We’re very excited to get started on the next steps of planning the move and watching the new facility come to life”.
Prior to occupancy, the new site will undergo extensive renovation and will be equipped with state of the art facilities, not to mention improved accessibility of transportation routes including busses, cycle and walking paths and increased car parking facilities to accomodate patients, staff and visitors.
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