Funding for medical devices

Funding worth up to £100,000 has been made available to eleven companies working to develop innovative devices, products and services to improve the health of the UK.

The investment has been awarded as part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) East funding programme launched by NHS East of England, the East of England Development Agency, and the Technology Strategy Board in April this year.

The scheme invited companies to put forward ideas that can be turned into practical solutions to make a substantial difference in the areas of long-term condition management, patient safety and keeping children active. All proposals also had to show that they can contribute to achieving a low carbon environment.

Lord Mandelson, business secretary, said that the initiative had been expanded to include other public sector bodies, including the TSB. ‘The level of interest is very high, with 11 SMEs awarded Phase 1 contracts,’ he said. ‘The proposed solutions were in many cases new and genuinely innovative. And all the more important in the current environment is that the potential savings to the NHS run into the hundreds of millions.’

Companies being awarded up to £100,000 in Phase 1 have the potential to receive further financial assistance to evaluate their products in a second phase.

Amongst winners of the grant in the ‘Managing Long-term Conditions’ category include Docobo, a company which has developed inform@HOME, a monitoring telehealth system that provides a decision support solution to enable individualised care at home and Eykona Technologies, which has developed a 3D imaging medical device to characterise wounds in diabetic ulcers.

Patient Safety grants have been secured by ABMS to develop an integrated disposable drug container within the drug delivery device, Anaxsys Technology to improve its patented electrochemical sensor technology and Cambridge Design Partnership who are developing new technology to reduce the occurrence of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) in the Intensive Care Unit.

Keith Pearson, chairman of NHS East of England said: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of entries we have received, highlighting the highly innovative work that is happening all around us.

‘It has been particularly gratifying to receive so many strong entries from small businesses in the east of England; the innovation vibrancy of this region is particularly impressive in these difficult times.’