photo of Loughborough staff at GDIH launch event

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) at