UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Sustainable Prevention, Innovation and INvolvement NETwork (SPIINNET)

Start date: April 2024 Duration: 48 months Project co-leads: Chris Fox, University of Exeter, Georgina Charlesworth, University College London. The project aims to identify ways to reduce people’s risks of dementia and improve their experiences of living with dementia.

SPIINNET will deliver a programme that will use and make connections between the experience, knowledge and resources of people across the network. Activities will include workshops where people can meet to design research projects together, training events, funding innovative ideas, meetings to raise awareness about dementia and prevention, and annual conferences to share learning.

Chris Fox, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Exeter, who is co-leading the network, said: “We now have high-quality research which indicates that we could prevent up to 40 per cent of dementia by taking meaningful action from mid life. This funding will enable our new Dementia Network Plus to action the latest research both to prevent dementia, and to work with people who have the condition to help them access early support and live the best lives possible.”

Netowrk co-lead Georgina Charlesworth, of UCL, said; “I’m delighted to be co-leading the SPIINNET Dementia Network. I hope that our work over the next four years we will make a meaningful contribution to brain health, especially for those in at-risk or under-represented communities. We look forward to our work with partners across academia, industry, health and social care and the voluntary and charitable sectors.”

SPIINNET will encompass including the NIHR-funded Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), the NIHR Exeter Biomedical Research Centre, the newly funded HealthTech Research Centre and the newly established Policy Research Unit. It will create a mutually responsive ecosystem which can strengthen understanding, involvement, and innovation in dementia prevention research. It aims to develop the quality of experience, effective knowledge and resources of people with dementia, families, communities, the NHS and social care.

The Network aims to deliver a programme of activities including workshops, training events and meetings to raise awareness about dementia and prevention. The group will work closely with early career researchers and community members and will engage with people from diverse communities to bring together existing research evidence including resources for preventing dementia, so that they will be accessible to many different groups of people.

The network model will involve diverse communities. They will aim to understand how different experiences and cultures may affect people’s actions to prevent dementia.  Knowledge and resources will be exchanged between different groups of people to generate innovative new ways of strengthening services and communities.  This will reduce the risk of dementia and help implement and evaluate innovations, especially for under-represented groups.

Through this work, the network aims to create a transformative change for people affected by dementia.