CLUSTER NEWS – JULY 2022
Winners in the Commonwealth Games
I cannot forecast the winners of the gold, silver and bronze medals in the CG22 events, but I do predict that our region’s HealthTech and MedTech sector will get a big boost out of the Games being held here.
On 1st August there will be a Data-driven healthcare Day in UK House – that’s the location at The Exchange on Centenary Square where the UK Government will have a presence throughout the Games. We have been helping the Department for International Trade and the West Midlands Growth Company to identify West Midlands businesses to help showcase the UK’s strengths in HealthTech and MedTech. We have been particularly pleased and privileged to have been able to put forward businesses who will be invited to make a pitch for new investment of up to £20M during the day.
On 2nd August I shall be chairing a panel Q&A at an additional event showcasing our region’s Data-driven healthcare products and services.The invited audience for this event will include businesses and investors from around the world who will be considering whether to locate here or invest in businesses here. And in case you are curious about this phrase “Data-driven healthcare” it comes from the title of a High Potential Opportunities (HPO) prospectus published by the Department for International Trade to the UK’s trade missions around the world. And yes, we had a hand in the development of this HPO prospectus which identifies our region as strong in the “four Ds” of data, devices, diagnostics and digital health.
July’s Topical Tuesday featured Andrew Shortt from the GBSLEP’s Growth Hub who was presenting about the LEP’s support for incubator services for HealthTech and MedTech businesses in Birmingham. It was a very well-attended session and there will be follow-up by us and the Growth Hub to see how we can expand the range of premises and services available to start up and growing businesses in our region.
We will not be holding a Topical Tuesday in August as we feel that we – and you – will benefit from a rest during what is traditionally a month when many people are away. We are talking to the Demand Hub about possibly featuring its services for SMEs in the September Topical Tuesday.
Our July webinar presented jointly with PASS was about air quality, its no surprise that the event was well attended, giving the topic. This event was delivered by a fantastic panel of speakers including:
Dr. Mohammad Nazir OBE, Managing Director at Nazir Associates, and PASS.
John Vinson, Commercial Director at Vortex IoT Ltd.
Prof. Hafiz Alaka, Director of BigData, Ai and Innovation Technologies at University of Hertfordshire.
Also a special thanks to Abdul Hye of Rasuta, and Paddie Murphy of the WMHTC.
Birmingham Tech Week- Health Day Dates…
It has now been established that the Health Day during Birmingham Tech Week 2022 will be held on Thursday 13th October. The organisers of Birmingham Tech Week have asked us to put together the programme for this day. We have some exciting plans for the day including a drinks reception for all participants at the end of the day. However, we are still open to receive offers of contributions and ideas for inclusion so feel free to contact me with your suggestions. Do please save the date and arrange to participate in at least one of the events on 13th October.
HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES SECTOR NEWS
Molecular Microbiology Conference
The 7th Molecular Microbiology Conference will return in person to the University of Birmingham on 15th and 16th September 2022. With exciting talks from UoB speakers as well as from other UK and international universities, and with over 300 delegates expected to attend this year, this is a fantastic opportunity to discover the latest research and trends in microbiology, to connect with researchers in this field and for early career researchers to present their work either as a talk or poster. Further information about how to register, fees and deadlines can be found here.
There will also be the opportunity to meet with Life Science suppliers during lunch and coffee breaks. The event will be sponsored by AltaBioscience. AltaBioscience is the longest existing spinout from the University of Birmingham, and has been providing the University and researchers worldwide with peptide and biochemical synthesis and analytical services for almost 50 years. To receive details of promotional offers, and product development updates join the AltaBioScience mailing list at https://altabioscience.com/contact-us/ or follow the company on LinkedIn.
The latest DIAGCOMM activity has been a visit, organised by the Cluster, to the Rosalind Franklin Mega Lab at Leamington Spa. Many thanks to Rob Hawes and his staff for looking after so many of us during our visit. We were all impressed with the space there which is not currently in use and Rob is interested to know if there are businesses looking for space for their HealthTech and MedTech uses.
The Government’s Levelling Up White Paper announced £100M for three new Innovation Accelerators, one of which will be in the West Midlands. The West Midlands Combined Authority set up a dedicated website to explain what this means for our region and in July it held an event for stakeholders to contribute to the development of our region’s Innovation Accelerators. Three of us from the cluster helped the Combined Authority with support for the workshops that day. We have put in an Expression of Interest for funding from the Innovation Accelerator on behalf of the West Midlands HealthTech and MedTech sector and I will keep you informed of developments. The current intended rationale for intervention is to help inventors and entrepreneurs to get their new products and services to market faster.
Digital Health Hub Pilot
I am absolutely thrilled to be able to tell you you that the cluster’s initiative in bringing together our region’s HealthTech and MedTech stakeholders has resulted in the submission of an Expression of Interest supported by most of those stkeholders. The prize to be had is a share of an £8M fund to set up two or more digital health hub pilots.
WEST MIDLANDS REGION NEWS
Birmingham Tech Week 2022
I have announced above that the Health Day in Birmingham Tech Week 2022 will be 13th October. There will be very wide range of Tech subjects covered across the week between 10th and 14th October so whatever your business interests are there is very likely to be something of importance to you and your business during the week.
Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)
A new WMREDI policy briefing explains the history, successes and impact of MTC, an independent Research and Technology Organisation founded in 2010 by four institutions – Loughborough University, the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham, and TWI – with the aim of bridging the ‘valley of death’ between academia and industry.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS
UK Clinical Research Recovery
The UK Government has published its second phase plan for clinical research 2022-25. The phase 2 plan is aligned with funding confirmed through the Government’s Spending Review for April 2022 to March 2025 and includes up to £150 million of additional funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and £25 million additional funding from RRG partners (Recovery, Resilience and Growth) across the UK, complementing up to £200 million in England for the data for research and development programme announced in March 2022
Patient Safety Commissioner
The first Patient Safety Commissioner for England has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE will be an independent commissioner who will act as a champion for patients and lead a drive to improve the safety of medicines and medical devices. Dr Hughes will improve how the healthcare system listens to patients, the Government and the NHS to put patients first.
Quanta Dialysis Technologies is a West Midlands business making dialysis more accessible to every patient in every setting with its SC+ haemodialysis system. Quanta has grown strongly, especially through its transatlantic link into the USA.
SC+ is an end-to-end solution with a convenient compact size which gives the performance comparable to a large traditional machine. This offers users and healthcare providers all the flexibility needed to deliver dialysis across the continuum of care. It is commercially available in the UK for home and hospital use and is FDA-cleared for use in chronic and acute care settings in the USA. Quanta has been searching for new premises in the UK because of its expansion and we are delighted that they look like choosing an option which means they will continue to grow in the West Midlands. The Company is not (yet) a cluster member, but we congratulate you on your success and wish you continued success.
I hope you enjoy reading my e-bulletin. Feel free to contact me personally with your feedback and suggestions for future activities at email@example.com
Executive Chair, July 2022