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CLUSTER NEWS – August 2023

Land availability for the HeathTech in the West Midlands

I have been doing a piece of work for the West Midlands Combined Authority to answer the question: “Do we have enough land available in our region to meet the anticipated needs of our HealthTech sector?

I have consulted, researched and discussed with relevant interested parties, including property owners, developers and managers.

Th product of my work will be a report which I am due to deliver to the Combined Authority later this year and which I hope will then be published and be made widely available to all those with an interest in growing the sector.

I cannot give too much away about the report’s contents yet as my work is unfinished, but I believe you will find the report is worth the wait. I will keep you informed of developments.


September 2023 tt eventbrite banner

Our next Topical Tuesday will be on the 26th of September 2023, where Dr. Vishaal Virani MBBS, Head of UK Health, YouTube will introduce YouTube Health and how to use it to create High quality and credible content, read more and register here.

There will be no Topical Tuesday in October because the opportunity to get together for a discussion will be provided instead by our HealthTech Day during Birmingham Tech Week.
Details: Birmingham Tech Week will run from 16 – 20 October and thousands of businesses and organisations will take part. For the second year running, we will be organising a HealthTech Day as part of the week’s events and we are organising this for Thursday 19 October. The venue will be Enterprise Wharf in Birmingham (with thanks to Bruntwood for hosting) and the programme will include panel discussions and an Expo as well as plenty of time (and refreshments) for networking to take place. For details, click here.

We are currently working on a programme of activities to help explain what people can expect from the two years’ funding of the West Midlands Innovation Accelerator and who is doing what. We will arrange for members to have an opportunity to meet with the University of Birmingham team who are leading on the biggest of the projects being funded.


India Beauty Mission December 2023

UK brands will have the opportunity to join DIT’s week-long trade mission to Mumbai, from 3rd to 10th December, to tie in with Cosmoprof India. The mission is aimed at ambitious British Beauty brands looking to grow in this vibrant market. This may be of interest if your business provides porducts and services around cosmetics, devices, diagnostics and lifestyle for example. For more information see DBT’s website here:


Plan for Growth Strategy Roundtable

I have reported to you previously on my project for the Combined Authority to help develop a unifying strategy for the HealthTech sector in the West Midland.

After conducting interviews and a survey, I am now arranging a roundtable for stakeholders on 04 October. Here, I hope to engage with a variety of sector leaders as we seek to define our sector’s strengths and how bext to seize the opportunities that we can anticipate in the months and years ahead.

If you are interested in this work and would like to know more about it, please feel free to contact me. As ever, I shall keep you updated on developments regading this project.

Midlands Engine Health

The first meeting of the remodelled Midlands Engine’s Health and Social Care Advisory Board will be held in person at the Charnwood Campus at Loughborough on 24 September. I shall be a Board member representing our region’s HealthTech sector. If there is anything you would like me to raise at the meeting, do please please let me know. I will report back on what happens at the meeting in my next e-bulletin.

Midlands Engine’s Quarterly Economic Briefing 29 September

Registration is now open for the online Midlands Engine Quarterly Economic Briefing (QEB) taking place at 10am on the 29 September 2023 exploring Green Investment in the Midlands. The QEB is a virtual seminar, held on MS Teams.

Keynote speakers are Arti Bareja, Net Zero Associate Director, Grant Thornton and John Everitt, Chief Executive, The National Forest. There will be a panel discussion which will include the keynote speakers and Anna Bright, Chief Executive, Sustainability West Midlands.

To secure your place, please register here. You are welcome to share this link with colleagues who may also be interested in attending.


Business Growth West Midlands

business growth WM Launch event

Join us for the official launch of Business Growth West Midlands; the new fully funded service empowering businesses to grow and succeed. Here you will get the news about the service that is the successor to the previous LEPs’ Growth Hubs.

Mayor of The West Midlands, Andy Street, will provide the keynote address, discussing his commitment to promoting business growth in the region, and where this new service fits into the economic development of the West Midlands. It will provide a £107M programme of business support, including grants.

The launch will be held at Coventry Building Society Arena, Judds Lane, Longford, Coventry CV6 6AQ on Tuesday 12 September 2023, 9.30am – 4.30pm.

Register to attend for free here.

Universities and the levelling up agenda

Universities are integral to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, according to this recent blog post by WM REDI. The analysis and recommendations come from a workshop held in February 2023 by the Universities and Regions Forum at the University of Birmingham.

It is worth taking the couple of minutes required just to run through the recommendations set out in the blog here.

King’s Awards for Enterprise 2024

Remember you can still apply for the King’s Awards for Enterprise for 2024 until midday on 12 September 2023.

If you win, you’ll be:
•  Invited to a Royal reception
•  Presented with the award at your company by one of The King’s representatives, a Lord-Lieutenant
•  Able to fly The King’s Awards flag at your main office, and use the emblem on your marketing materials (for example, on your packaging, advertisements, stationery and website)
•  Given a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy

The awards are valid for 5 years.
Winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater press coverage and a boost to staff morale.
Eligibility criteria, and more information about the application process, can be found here.

Highland Marketing

I was in two minds whether to include this item because the company offering its PR services is not based in our region (its head office is in Scotland). However, they work with WM businesses and their chief expertise appears to be understanding the NHS, so I thought I would include this information.

Highland Marketing (website link https://highland-marketing.com/ ) is a specialist marketing, communications, market access and consultancy agency, focusing on the health-tech and med-tech industries. They offer an integrated range of services covering all elements of the marketing mix which help organisations achieve their goals by ensuring their messages are heard, understood, and acted upon by their chosen audiences. Their team has deep knowledge of health and care technology, strong contacts in the industry, and is well-versed in delivering effective campaigns and content.

They support clients across the NHS and EMEA healthcare markets and work with clients looking to expand from the UK into international markets, and with overseas companies looking to enter the UK market. Do feel free to contact them if you can see there may be an advantage for you in doing so.


The CE mark is to be indefinitely recognised in the UK

The UK Government announced this month that the CE mark will continue to be recognised in the UK indefinitely. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) says the decision forms “part of the government’s drive for smarter regulation” and that the extension will “cut business costs” and “benefit consumers”.

The CE mark – or ‘conformité européenne’ – is used to show that products conform to European standards around health, safety and environmental protection. Although the UK has so far aligned with these European standards since Brexit, it has until now been intended that the UK would introduce its own UKCA mark to shows that goods meet UK standards.

The deadline for businesses to use the UKCA mark within the UK market was postponed multiple times, and now the last of these – December 2024 – has also been scrapped. You can read more about the decision here.

Unlocking Innovative Places

This report by the Innovation Caucus is really interesting for its study of the role of Clusters and how they can contribute to innovation.

Whilst the individual clusters studied did not include a cluster from the West Midlands, the conclusions seem valid for everywhere in the UK. Eight common challenges and patterns are listed and for me, this report provides a framework for beginning to evaluate how successful we – the HealthTech sector in the West Midlands – are at innovating to stimulate growth.

You can see the summary here and it provides links to the full report and study for further reading.

International Trade Week 6-10 November

Don’t forget that the Government, in partnership with industry, will be running an International Trade Week from 6th to 10th November 2023. There will be in-person and online events – and other organisations are encouraged to organise their own events during the week. The aim is to build up export knowledge and skills and to make businesses aware of practical help for their exporting efforts.

A full programme will be published nearer to the date but for now you are asked to register if you are interested in any aspect of International Trade Week. See the ITW2023 webpage for more information and to register your interest.

Spotlight on

Quanta DT’s home dialysis medical device

Quanta DT worked with Cluster member Smallfry to develop the industrial design and usability of their amazingly small and light home dialysis medical device. Ambitiously aiming to implement radical changes in the way dialysis products were serviced, and moving away from mounting the components to the housing, the new medical product design implements a chassis-based design for easy access and significantly quicker maintenance.

At only a quarter of the size of existing machines, Quanta’s SC+ is specifically configured to be used at home or in multiple clinical environments. This enables people to have much greater freedom to control their own medication. Smallfry went to great lengths to create a medical product that wouldn’t intrude in a domestic environment but would also be appropriate for professional clinical spaces.

I hope you enjoy reading my e-bulletin. Feel free to contact me personally with your feedback and suggestions for future activities at david@wmhtc.co.uk


Executive Chair.

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