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SMEs invited to apply for new funded R&D programme to make their innovation a reality and solve healthcare challenge

23 August 2016


A search has today been launched for SMEs who have a technology that could be adapted and commercialised to solve a real-life healthcare issue.

The Horizontal Innovation Programme will offer one SME support worth up to £35,000 to enable its innovation or product to be commercialised to help solve some of the current NHS challenges.

The programme has been launched by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to capitalise on technology that can be used to solve challenges in other sectors.

The UK healthcare sector is an area that can benefit greatly from technology development in other sectors. The Horizontal Innovation Programme will fund and support a UK technology business in solving some of the current NHS challenges.

Naomi Climer, IET President, said: “The UK is renowned across the world for creativity and innovation, but we aren’t always so good at commercialising our innovations. This is particularly difficult for SMEs who face barriers and challenges at the product development stage including funding, expertise, business processes and technologies. Through this programme we are offering one lucky SME the opportunity to gain access to highly skilled engineers and some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing equipment, enabling them to develop and commercialise a technology solution on an industrial scale.”

Jeremy Hadall, MTC Chief Technologist for Digital Engineering, said: “Delivering Horizontal Innovation across sectors is very much a key part of MTC’s remit. So we are proud to be partnering with the IET and its cross-sectorial members to launch this programme. The successful applicant will not only have access to the MTC’s highly skilled engineers, advanced manufacturing equipment and business expertise but will in the process be delivering a major step forward in the treatment of patients within the healthcare system which will be of benefit to society as a whole.”

The selected applicant will have access to the MTC’s flexible factory capabilities, as well as receiving support in business planning, product design, IP protection and engineering expertise.

To be considered for the programme, SMEs should submit a proposal that demonstrates how their technology solution can used and? commercialised in the healthcare sector, in particular to address the current NHS challenges within emergency care.  The proposal should aim to solve a real-life issue within NHS patient care, which could include anything from initial patient transportation through to recovery.

For more information, visit www.theiet.org/hi-sme.

Notes to editors:

Entries must be received by 30 September 2016.