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CLUSTER NEWS – July 2023

Growth strategy for HeathTech in the West Midlands

At the request of the West Midlands Combined Authority I am currently working on the development of a strategy for growing our region’s healthtech sector.

My brief is to work with the businesses and stakeholders in the West Midlands who share an ambition for this sector to grow to coproduce a document which all those involved can agree to sign up to.

As part of this process, I have launched a survey which all businesses and stakeholders are welcome to complete and return to me. Access the survey here, do please fill in your answers and send them to me.

Later in the process, I will organise a roundtable for some of the key contributors to attend and discuss the results of my survey as well as other considerations, including the West Midlands Plan for Growth.

I will keep you informed of developments in respect of this very important project.


September 2023 tt eventbrite banner

There will be no Topical Tuesday in the month of August, and 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.

The next Innovative Health Working Group meeting will be held in September. The programme has been put together with an overarching theme of “the hospital of the future”. It will be held at the UHCW Innovation Hub in Coventry.

We are currently working on this 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.

Birmingham Tech Week 16-20 October, 2023

Birmingham Tech is now TechWM but one thing that is not changing is the annual Birmingham Tech Week.  This year it 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.

TechWM is supported by the Mayor’s newly appointed Tech Commissioner, Martin Ward.


David is a dragon!

I was pleased to join the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) for a series of dragon’s den presentations from a wide range of innovators who have been helped by the WMAHSN to develop their ideas. I was impressed by the very practical level of application of such great ideas and the serious approach of the innovators themselves. Presentations included a scheduling services linked to NHS 111, a chatbox in a phone call for social care

Midlands Engine Health

The Midlands Engine’s Health and Social Care Advisory Board is going to be relaunched this autumn – and once again I shall be a Board member. The first meeting of the new Board will be held in person at the Charnwood Campus at Loughborough on 24 September.

If anyone has anything they would like me to raise at this Board meeting, please let me know. I will report back afterwards.

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.

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

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.

The QEB is a virtual seminar, held on MS Teams.


IA Launch event

West Midlands Innovation Accelerator

The Cluster was represented in force at the official launch of our region’s Innovation Accelerator at STEAMhouse on Wednesday 12 July. Funding streams from a new £33 million initiative to turbo charge innovation across the West Midlands and bolster the region’s research and development capability were presented to a huge audience which included over 100 of our region’s healthtech businesses.

The West Midlands Innovation Accelerator is now inviting forward looking businesses to take advantage of the portfolio of support and funding available to develop ideas that can help reinforce the region’s position at the frontier of the UK innovation revolution.

The Innovation Accelerator comes through a share of a £100m fund set up by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and delivered by Innovate UK in partnership with the West Midlands leadership.

The funding will enable businesses to develop new products, processes and services that can spark commercial growth and investment. The scheme will have a particular focus on health and medical technology, clean technology and a range of other sector specialisms.

Please contact Emma or Ahmar if you would like to know more.

King’s Awards for Enterprise 2024

The King’s Awards for Enterprise for 2024 were launched earlier this month to coincide with the Coronation. If you believe have attained outstanding achievement in International Trade, then please to apply – it helps you and it helps our region.

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. You can now apply for the 2024 Awards until midday on 12 September 2023.

Harwell’s HealthTech Cluster

This Oxford-based healthtech cluster is older than our West Midlands cluster and therefore ahead of us in its development. You might be interested to read this story about its launch of a new strategy.

At the request of the West Midlands Combined Authority, I am doing some work on a strategy for healthtech growth in the West Midlands. I have taken note of Harwell’s strategy and I see no reason not to close the gap in maturity between Harwell and the West Midlands very quickly.

Your help with developing a workable and ambitious strategy for our sector in our region would be appreciated – see the survey I am asking you to complete for me at the start of this e-bulletin.


Submitting an application for review by the ACBS

If you should have a need to apply to have nutritional or dermatological products reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS), there is new guidance available on eligibility and hot to apply on the Gov.UK website.

£50 million Research Ventures Catalyst

This month, the Department for Science Innovation and Technology promised up to £50 million of government investment in new UK research ventures. The new Research Ventures Catalyst will encourage greater private and philanthropic backing for UK science, research and innovation.

This envisages new ways of supporting research that is vital to finding new ways to tackle deadly diseases, and to harnessing new technologies that will underpin the economy of the future. The Catalyst will drive more private and philanthropic funding into UK R&D, building on the City of London’s position of strength as an international financial centre for the benefit of our scientists and innovators.

The new fund has been set up to pilot new ways of delivering research in the UK, allowing our brightest minds to take greater risks and pursue new means of working that might not be supported via traditional funding avenues. The Catalyst is opening for bids of up to £100,000 in ‘seedcorn’ funding to allow researchers to develop full plans for their proposed ventures.

Eventually, it will deliver up to £50 million of investment, backed by government with additional private and philanthropic co-investment.

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

Bronze Software Labs

Cluster member Bronze Software Labs has been in existence since 2011. The Company is today a proven, multi-award winning UK based innovative technologies firm offering scalable, real-time enterprise and research and development solutions for organisations with a requirement to aggregate Big Data across the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities.

The team believes deeply in the power to embrace and drive change. They pride themselves on their ability not only to adopt new and innovative technologies but also the desire within the team to push back boundaries and understand how we can all continue to develop and pioneer the future, solving real world problems.

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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