New £9.5m plan to develop Yorkshire medical technology

Solving the challenges that hamper Yorkshire’s medical technology experts when they attempt to bring innovative products to market is the focus of a new partnership.

Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Director of Medical Technologies Innovation at the University

Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Director of Medical Technologies Innovation April 2018

Backed by £9.5m of funding, Grow MedTech will build on the distinctive cluster of medical technologies expertise in the Leeds and Sheffield city regions. It will address issues that can block the process of commercialising products and bringing them from conception to clinical use.

Six northern universities are among more than 20 partners in the three-year project, led by Leeds. Other participants include the local enterprise partnerships serving both city regions, National Institute of Health Research organisations, councils and chambers of commerce.

The partnership has been backed by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and the Industrial Strategy, who said: “Through the Industrial Strategy, Grand Challenges and the funding announced today, we are helping turn innovative new ideas into products and services, which could help change our lives and keep the UK as a world leader in developing the products of tomorrow.”

By supporting and financially backing researchers and developers to take new products through the early stages of commercial development, the partnership expects to bring about 20 potentially life-enhancing devices into everyday use during the next three years.

Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Director of Medical Technologies Innovation at the University, is leading the delivery of the partnership. She said: “We are bringing the best minds in engineering, biological development, design and manufacturing together with industry to drive products into everyday use to improve the quality of life for people across the world.

“Ultimately, Grow MedTech will result in faster deployment and wider adoption of new technologies to bring about better patient care and safer more effective and more efficient health and care services.”

Grow MedTech will be supported through Nexus, the University’s £40m innovation and enterprise centre, which is due to open in September and will be the gateway for business to access academic expertise and facilities at Leeds.

Professor John Fisher, Director of EPSRC Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre April 2018

Professor John Fisher (pictured above), Director of the EPSRC Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre at the University, is the project’s academic lead. He said: “The rate of change associated with technology convergence at the moment is unprecedented, and the UK medtech sector needs to transform to exploit this opportunity.

“We aim to lead this change in the UK. The programme will deliver growth in the economy and benefits to the health and care services”.

Grow MedTech is led by the University of Leeds, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Beckett University, the University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield and University of York, all of which have significant strengths in medical technologies research and development.

It is part-funded by Research England, which has contributed just under £5m through the Connecting Capabilities Fund. The remainder of the funding is provided by the partner organisations.

David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “In the Industrial Strategy, the Government asked us to improve our ability to turn exciting ideas into commercial products and services. Universities have stepped forward in this project to show they can do world class commercialisation alongside world class science.”

Organisations, businesses or researchers who would like to find out more about Grow MedTech should click here 

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