Health Enterprise East (HEE), the leading NHS Innovation and Technology Consultancy, has been awarded a £1m grant to deliver the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Over a three-year period, HEE will be delivering a range of events, initiatives and market reports via the MedTech NAVIGATOR in a bid to drive innovation in the East of England by facilitating collaboration and understanding between industry and NHS experts in the region.
Despite the significant expertise in research and innovation amongst the 125,000 NHS employees in the East of England, collaboration with SMEs – who could provide solutions to unmet needs in the NHS – so far remains limited. HEE will be deploying the MedTech NAVIGATOR as a vehicle to build and revitalise connections between the region’s healthcare system, academic institutions and innovative SMEs. As well as delivering improved patient outcomes, this collaborative approach is also geared towards stimulating economic growth in the East of England and beyond.
HEE will deliver the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme by means of a number of components. In the first instance, research in areas such as market access and health economics will be undertaken around distinct themes (three per year), each focusing on areas of particular clinical or organisational need. Published in the form of a series of white papers, this analysis will be accompanied by dedicated workshops to give SMEs a more in-depth understanding of both unmet needs and potential commercial opportunities.
The programme’s first research theme is Respiratory Disease, following a report by HEE into the landscape for respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma and lung cancer within the NHS. The inaugural workshop took place on 6th February 2020 with nearly 40 attendees, and was an opportunity for clinicians, SME innovators and patients to explore areas for collaborative product development.
Looking ahead, the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme will see HEE launch Innovation Grants to support companies seeking to engage in new research and innovation with clinical and academic partners. Finally, the programme will also involve the development of MedTech CONNECT, an online database that will allow SMEs to easily identify and make contact with clinical experts who are willing to collaborate with industry partners.
Commenting on the official launch of MedTech NAVIGATOR, Joop Tanis, Director of MedTech Consulting at HEE, said:
“In our experience, effective partnerships lie at the heart of successful medtech innovation. All too often, clinicians and developers with good ideas fail to connect and as a result potentially great innovations don’t make it off the drawing board. The MedTech NAVIGATOR is designed to make collaboration between NHS and industry innovators as seamless as possible, facilitating introductions and knowledge sharing at the very earliest stages of product development.
“The significant interest in our first workshop and the enthusiastic feedback we received are further evidence of the strong appetite for this kind of collaboration. What the MedTech NAVIGATOR will do is to harness expertise from all quarters and thereby act as a launchpad for innovation. We are thrilled to be working with the European Regional Development Fund to deliver this programme and are excited to find out what lies ahead.”
More information on the programme can be found at: https://www.medtechnavigator.co.uk/
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