Loughborough University launches Global Disability Innovation Hub

Yesterday (11 July), Loughborough University London celebrated the launch of its partnership for the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDIH).

The organisation was created following the 2012 London Paralympic Games and aims to bring together academics, local communities, experts and people with disabilities to drive innovation through collaborative and creative thinking, ultimately making a positive difference to the lives of over one billion people with disabilities across the world.

The Global Disability Innovation Hub is a collaborative organisation based at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with partners that include the London Legacy Development Corporation, University College London (UCL), University of the Arts London (UAL), Sadler Wells, Victoria and Albert Museum, Leonard Cheshire, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design as well as Loughborough University London.

LU London has committed to delivering on three areas:

  • Developing a Master’s programme with academic partners to provide an entry point to connect to the work of the GDIH;
  • Supporting the establishment of a multi-disciplinary Research Centre which focuses on research around disability issues; and
  • Contributing to the hosting of a global summit about Disability Innovation Practice.

The event took place at the National Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health Medicine (NCSEM), based at the main Loughborough campus.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison opened the launch, introducing the Chair of the GDIH Lord Chris Holmes, as well as the hub’s Co-Director Dr Cathy Holloway.

Academic lead Professor Richard Bibb and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Professor Steve Rothberg were also in attendance to share the future plans and current activity of the hub.

The launch also showcased the ambition to go beyond these three commitments, by looking at ways Loughborough academics could engage with the hub in terms of research opportunities.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Allison said: “Loughborough University is proud to be playing an active part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“The GDIH and its work shows how the strengths of our two campuses can come together to create real and lasting impact that can transform people’s lives.”

Lord Holmes commented: “GDI Hub’s focus on innovation to improve the lives of disabled people worldwide is a clear, positive and achievable legacy from London 2012 and one very close to my heart.  

“Loughborough has a long and distinguished Paralympic sporting heritage and I am personally delighted to have the university as a key partner on this innovative programme.”

Dr Cathy Holloway, of UCL and Co-Director of GDIH added: “It has been a pleasure building GDI Hub with our partners.

“The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a unique space, where institutional and disciplinary barriers are being broken down and in their place new ideas are flourishing. Linking the work on the park with Loughborough’s campus in the East Midlands is truly the start of a new chapter for GDI Hub.”

For more information about GDIH, contact Paul Steynor, Research Development Manager (GDIH).

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.