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CLUSTER NEWS – September 2023

Strategy Roundtable 04 October

Round table 4 oct collage

I have been doing a piece of work for the West Midlands Combined Authority to examine whether healthtech stakeholders in our region might be up for adopting a single strategy for growing our healthtech sector. Obviously, this would be a high-level, general statement of our vision for the sector and it would not interfere with or contradict the strategies of individual stakeholders.

I have consulted, researched and discussed with relevant interested parties, including businesses, universities and public sector agencies.

We have now hosted a roundtable of 30-40 stakeholders on the 4th of October to see how much agreement there is for this approach. We now have a green light to proceed, you can expect to hear from me as part of my engagement when it comes to drafting the right words to describe our sector’s strategy.

I would very much welcome feedback and input at that stage. The whole project will probably take until next Spring to complete. I will keep you informed of developments.


BTW2023 linkedin post

Exciting News! Join us on October 19th at Enterprise Wharf, Birmingham for a groundbreaking event: “The Revolution of Digital Health” which is part of Birmingham Tech Week 2023.

In an era where technology is reshaping the landscape of healthcare, this event is your gateway to understanding how digital innovations are transforming the healthcare industry.

Hear from renowned speakers:
-Pharmaceutical Companies, and more.

Discover how these industry giants are leveraging technology to drive advancements in digital health. From cutting-edge AI solutions to telemedicine breakthroughs, you’ll gain insights into the future of healthcare.
Whether you’re a healthcare professional, tech enthusiast, or simply curious about the digital health revolution, this event is a must-attend.
Save the date: October 19th
Location: Enterprise Wharf

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of the conversation that’s shaping the future of healthcare, follow the link below to request a seat.
Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details!

Register NOW! click here

September 2023 tt linkedin image 2

The September Topical Tuesday featured Dr Vishaal Virani, head of Health at UK Health for You Tube with an amazing presentation about You Tube Health – a very exciting development and something we want the West Midlands to be associated with.

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. For details, see below

In November, out Topical Tuesday will feature Kath Mackay from Bruntwood Sci Tech who will tell us about the company’s many commercial interests in the West Midlands and in particular the new BHIC No. 1 about to open next to University of Birmingham and Queen Eliabeth II Hospital at Selly Oak.

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.


West Midlands Innovation Accelerator

CleanTech, HealthTech and MedTech people in our region are keen to understand how the £30M+ funding allocated to us by the Government is to be spent. Some projects, like the two Connected Places Catapult programmes, DIATOMIC and Clean Futures, are up and running. The biggest of the projects, led by University of Birmingham has had some setting up challenges to overcome, but the launch is due now. There are 18 months in which to get the money out of the door and at the same time spend it well and ensure value for money.

West Midlands Investment Zones

The Mayor and stakeholders are in the advanced stages of their negotiations with the Government over the locations of what are likely to be three Investment Zones in the West Midlands: Coventry Gigafactory, Birmingham Knowledge Quarter and Black Country Green Corridor. Between them, these three Zones will attract £80M of public funding over 5 years. In addition, the Coventry Council will benefit from being allowed to retain the Business Rates paid by businesses locating in the Zone for up to 25 years. In all three Zones, there will be tax benefits for businesses locating in them – see the Government’s Investment Zones Prospectus for details. There is also a very strong endorsement of CLUSTERS in the Prospectus.

Midlands Engine Health

I attended the first meeting of the remodelled Midlands Engine’s Health and Social Care Advisory Board at the Charnwood Campus at Loughborough on 24 September.

We agreed a set of objectives that fit with the Midlands Engine Business Plan 2023-26 and discussed the work of the Midlands Health & Care Inequalities Policy Commission.

The Board will set tasks for a Standing Working Group – and our Cluster Manager, Emma, is on that Group.


Business Growth West Midlands

I attended the launch of the new business support service covering the area of the West Midlands Combined Authority (the seven Mets). Business Growth WM will combine a standard business support offer with specialised support for some sectors or for some specific activities (for example, Net Zero works).

Business Growth WM will be the front door and the advisers will mostly be located in the seven local authorities.

If you are located outside the Combined Authority’s area, many of the Growth Hubs have survived (although the business model and funding arrangements will have changed) and these Growth Hubs will still be your first port of call.

West Midlands Regional Economic Symposium

I attended a fascinating event at Birmingham Library this month when a series of high-visibility academics and Think Tanks presented to a West Midlands audience on how our region can improve productivity. There were some really informative case studies from around the world and time and again, the ingredients of success were the same: a long-term strategy, a coherent plan, a team effort and excellent leadership. This certainly seems to be the way to attract greater investment in our region’s businesses as well as the way to attract further inward investment. It definitely reinforced for me the importance of the project I am leading on to try to develop a single strategy for our region’s HealthTech sector.

West Midlands Co-investment Fund

Birmingham-based healthcare technology company Medmin Group has secured a £750,000 investment, as part of a larger £1.45m funding round, to grow its consumer-facing platform, Get Well Soon – designed to offer a concierge style service for patients looking to access private surgery, as well as a network of clinics providing elective surgery.

The £750,000 will come from two different funds: £500,000 will come from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) through the MEIF West Midlands Equity Fund, and the remaining £250,000 from the West Midlands Co-Investment Fund. Both are managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group.

Midlands Mindforge

Midlands Mindforge is the investment engine for an ambitious plan for an investment company, co-founded by eight research-intensive universities in the Midlands – Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick, to accelerate the commercialisation of ground-breaking science and technology innovations.

The immediate objective is to raise funds of £250M for investing in university spinouts and early-stage IP rich businesses in the Midlands. The staff and infrastructure are now in place and Midlands Mindforge will be going out to markets to raise the first £250M starting next month.


HealthTech Manufacturing Partnership

The Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and Make UK have entered into a partnership to stimulate support for manufacturers and to fuel growth of the UK’s HealthTech sector. Their collaboration will support the UK’s HealthTech business community to get better access to manufacturing support and expertise, and to ultimately create a favourable environment for manufacturing, at a local, regional, national and global level.

This is a particularly important issue for the West Midlands where we have such a strong manufacturing sector but we need to improve collaboration between manufacturers and HealthTch innovators.

You  can read the announcement of the partnership here.

Women’s Health Hubs

The Government wants there to be at least one Women’s Health Hub in the area of every Integrated Care Board in England. A fund of £25M is being allocated and guidance has been sent to every ICB. You can read the news in full on the website of the Department For Health and Social Care.

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

Interactive Software

Cluster member Interactive Software Ltd launched its first product in the UK back in 1992. The founders wanted to create an alternative to the sales and marketing systems that were around at the time. These were often difficult to use and even more impossible to change.

Unlike those systems, Interactive Software started to combine standard business workflows with simple configuration tools that would put users firmly in control. They automate processes to help make customers’ jobs easier. Their ‘point-and-click’ configuration options mean necessary software changes to support growing business can quickly be made.

Today, the company’s successful business is built around products and services like Achiever Essentials, Achiever Medical and Achiever CRM. Over the years, Achiever CRM has been installed in 100’s of different types of organisations across a range of industry sectors.

Interactive Software continues to flourish in Solihull.

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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