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Putting our region at the heart of medtech

In this blog post, Cat Colquhoun talks about her new role leading Grow MedTech for Leeds Beckett – a new source of funding and innovation support which is supporting some exciting projects across our university from virtual physiotherapy to an aid to diagnose Alzheimer’s.

Putting our region at the heart of medtech

My name is Cat Colquhoun and I have recently joined Leeds Beckett as the Business Development Executive working closely with Julian Sorrell (our Business Development Manager) and the other Technology Innovation Managers on Grow MedTech.

My background is in chemistry – I have an MChem from the University of Liverpool and, during my undergraduate degree, I worked for Reckitt Benckiser Ltd. as part of the research and development team in Hull. I then completed a PhD at the University of Leeds within the institute of medical and biological engineering where I became fascinated with all things “medtech”.

Grow MedTech

Grow MedTech is a major UK programme providing specialist support for innovation in medical technologies, involving a consortium of six universities across the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions. Our sector-specialist innovation support is helping to put these regions at the forefront of the UK’s medtech sector.

We support the technological development of medical devices, materials and software and through Grow MedTech - academics and companies can get access to both funding and skills and experience to help them take their medical technologies forward.

Our funding programmes support technologies from initial concepts to proof of commercial concept, with further support provided to leverage additional funding from other sources.

What sort of ideas people can come to you with and what support they can access?

My role will initially focus on Proof of Market (PoM) projects. These are six-month projects, with up to £5,000 awarded to support early stage validation and de-risking of technologies.

What can be funded?

  • Patient, carer, and public consultation workshops to identify and validate the need for a particular project or technology
  • Clinical consultation workshops with clinicians and healthcare professionals to validate the need for a particular project or technology
  • Consultation or technology showcase workshops with regional and national representative bodies including clinical commissioning groups, NHS organisations, representative networks, large charities, regional third sector organisations or potential industry partners
  • Developing technology road maps and routes to commercialisation
  • Market and opportunity analysis
  • IP landscaping and advice on IP protection
  • Regulatory pathway guidance

Visit the Proof of Market webpage for more information on deadlines and the application process.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

We have a number of exciting PoM projects currently underway here at Leeds Beckett, including Dr Nat Milton, from the School of Clinical & Applied Sciences, recently receiving funding for his diagnostic aid for Alzheimer’s disease. Nat is one of our innovation champions and holds a number of patents related to his research into the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Events

Grow MedTech sponsored the MedilinkNW Healthcare Business Awards earlier in February and I was lucky enough to attend. This was a truly inspiring evening, with awards going to the recent innovative medtech breakthroughs made in the region.

There are also lots of exciting Grow MedTech events in the pipeline and I am looking forward to getting involved with the Leeds Digital Festival (23rd April to 3rd May).

Get in touch!

I am keen to hear from any academics interested in Grow MedTech, so please drop me an email at C.Colquhoun@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or give me a call on 07342 032878 to find out more.

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About the Author

Leeds Beckett University

Grow MedTech

Grow MedTech is a major UK programme providing specialist support for innovation in medical technologies, involving a consortium of six universities across the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions – including Leeds Beckett University. Its sector-specialist innovation support is helping to put these regions at the forefront of the UK’s medtech sector.