Celebrating 100 Pledgees

In October, we hosted an event at the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne, to celebrate the milestone of reaching 100 Pledgees. The event promoted the three ‘C’s’ that underpin the HLS Pledge – Communicate, Collaborate and Celebrate. 

Guests at the event heard from Pledge members on the topic ‘Demystifying the Landscape’. This comes after several Pledge organisations have experienced a re-licensing or re-branding. The speakers discussed what these changes mean for the health and life sciences sector, as well as their continued focus on improving the health of our region.


Pledgees shared their journey and expressed why we need the Pledge, through the following speakers:

  • Dr Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director – NIHR Clinical Research Network
  • Russ Watkins, Commercial Director – Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria
  • Hannah Powell, Chief Operating Officer – Newcastle Health Innovation Partners


We brought key stakeholders together and endeavored to co-create our community-led campaign. The following speakers touched on their collaborations in the region:

  • Abbie Durrant, Principal Investigator – NortHFutures Digital Health Hub
  • Liz Shutt, Programme Director – Insights North East
  • Omal Al-Janabi, Head of Business, Impact and Policy – Durham University


We celebrated reaching 100 pledgees, and handed out some certificates to our new Pledgees:

  • Asian Business Connexions
  • Clinical Digital Resource Collaborative
  • Close-Knit CIC
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria
  • Insights North East
  • Investing in Children
  • North East Association of Directors of Social Services
  • Newcastle Health Innovation Partners
  • Pfizer
  • Year of Care Partnerships

We ended the session with Dr Antonio Payano, Chief Executive Officer – Bayer UK & Ireland, who celebrated the collaborations and successes over the last 25 years locally, regionally and internationally.

Jody Nichols, Associate  Director of the HI NENC, said: “I’m so proud of the journey the Health and Life Sciences Pledge has taken since the official launch in March 2023, we now have 108 organisations signed up to the Pledge and working together to better communicate, collaborate and celebrate the life sciences infrastructure.

The ‘Demystifying the Landscape’ Pledge event on the 23rd of October saw another fantastic event with some amazing Pledge partners as key speakers including Newcastle Health Innovation Partners, Clinical Research Network, Durham University, Insights NE, Health Innovation NENC and Digital Health Hub NE.

We are very much looking forward to the next event, ‘Devolution and the opportunities’ on the 14th of December.”

To find out about our future events, click here.