People & places

Scheme to inspire companies in Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire

January 15, 2019

Life science companies in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire can become ‘inspired’ with their business operations, thanks to a project delivered by Medilink East Midlands and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Inspiring Networking to Stimulate Technology Innovation in Life Sciences (INSTILS) is a £7.39 million scheme, part-funded by ERDF, to provide support for companies in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area. Help is available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who work, or want to work, in life sciences. Companies can apply for funding and support to develop products and services, attend specialist events and conferences and undertake medical technology trials.

Medilink East Midlands – the industry support organisation for the East Midlands which supports new and existing life science businesses – is delivering the INSTILS project and helps companies to access support and advice, working in partnership with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Following the success of the previous phase, ERDF funding for INSTILS has been made available for the next three years, meaning that INSTILS is now set to run until September 2021. Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire companies who sign up to the INSTILS programme will continue to receive wide-ranging business support. This includes help and advice from life science sector specialists from business, clinical and academic backgrounds, as well as grants for clinical evaluations, innovation development and specialist networking event attendance.

One company which has already benefitted from INSTILS support is SurePulse Medical Ltd, which is a joint venture between The University of Nottingham and Tioga Ltd. The company created a platform technology for monitoring heart rates in new-born babies. The innovative device provides a reliable and hands-free heart rate display, allowing hospital staff to swiftly and effectively provide medical support and could ultimately replace the need for routine stethoscope use. With 10% of babies requiring some form of resuscitation at birth, the SurePulse VS (pictured) will provide a ground-breaking addition to the delivery room and could impact the lives of millions of new born babies globally.

An INSTILS adviser met with SurePulse Medical to gain a view of the company and where support could be offered, including recommending relevant scientific and commercial advancements and workshops which would be of benefit. This included the prestigious, invite-only Texas Medical Centre Accelerator, which SurePulse Medical attended thanks to a Specialist Networking Grant provided via INSTILS. The accelerator is a 3-month programme in which companies gain insights on topics including clinical trials, the US regulatory framework, hospital procurement and intellectual property. SurePulse Medical is currently at the stage of preparing for full production and looks forward to a full product launch in 2019.

Darren Clark, Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands, said:

“Whether it’s a lack of funding, contacts, or knowledge, life science companies can sometimes face considerable barriers in getting their products and services to market. By providing INSTILS support, we’re helping companies to overcome obstacles on the road to getting their products and services sold. We are extremely pleased to be working with our delivery partners to offer companies and entrepreneurs the sector-specific knowledge and support they need through this programme.”

For further information on the INSTILS project and to find out more about the support on offer, visit:

by Editor