The NIHR's tenth anniversary conference

On 18 May 2016, the NIHR held a conference at the QEII Centre in central London to mark its tenth anniversary. As well as the conference plenary, chaired in the morning by Lord Ara Darzi, and in the afternoon by Sir Alex Markham, attendees could visit the ‘NIHR Gallery’, ‘Meet the NIHR’, and experience some of the cutting-edge technologies and devices that have been developed by researchers funded by the NIHR over the last decade.

Jeremy Hunt

The programme included keynote speeches by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, the Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman MP, the Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Chris Whitty and the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, who took the opportunity to launch the RAND Europe ‘NIHR Impact Synthesis’.  

Simon Denegri, NIHR’s National Director for Patients and the Public, led a panel discussion on public involvement and participation, and science writer and broadcaster, Vivienne Parry, discussed the value NIHR provides to charities, the NHS, the life sciences industry and the small business sectors.

Dr Russell Hamilton chaired the final panel debate on the future direction and development of the NIHR, asking questions provided by conference attendees.

The final words were provided by Lord Howe, who paid tribute to Dame Sally and Dr Hamilton, as he described the difference NIHR has made to the health and care research environment, both nationally and globally, and how the world-class research NIHR funds and supports is improving the health and wealth of the nation.

Dame Sally Davies


Attendees on the day could ‘Meet the NIHR’ – the experts, specialists, clinicians and nurses as well people NIHR works and partners with - in four thematic zones:

  • Better evidence for better health
  • Patients and the public making a difference to world-class research
  • An engine for growth
  • Developing research leaders of the future

The NIHR Gallery told the story of NIHR using a range of visuals. ‘Building the NIHR’ displayed the ‘when, what and why’ of each building block that created the NIHR over the last decade. ‘NIHR now’ showcased ground-breaking research presented by rolling poster shows, and via a cinema pod. ‘The path forward’ highlighted the future public health and health system challenges facing the nation, and provided the views and thoughts of research leaders on how NIHR’s future work and direction could help provide solutions.

The conference generated a significant volume of Twitter activity around its hashtag - #NIHRconf. Engagement was very high with nearly 3 million impressions and a total audience just short of 400,000. 

The conference sessions were filmed and the videos are available here.

You can see the PowerPoint slides of the presentations given by Dame Sally and Professor Chris Whitty. 

See below for a selection of photographs from the day: