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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y023889/1
Title: Innovating Medical Technologies across the Yorkshire Region
Principal Investigator: Wilcox, Professor RK
Other Investigators:
Roy, Professor I Conaghan, Professor P Kay, Professor R
Hatton, Professor PV
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ABHI ACF Investors Advanced Manufacturing (Sheffield) Ltd
Centre for Process Innovation CPI (UK) Ceramisys Ltd Eventum Orthopaedics
HGF Limited Kingkraft Ltd Leeds Academic Health Partnership
Leeds Biomedical Research Centre Medilink Medipex Ltd
NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centr Northern Gritstone Sheffield Precision Medical
South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Author. Victrex plc West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Yorkshire and Humber AHSN
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 February 2024 Ends: 31 January 2028 Value (£): 5,344,220
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomechanics & Rehabilitation Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Jun 2023 PBIAA Interview Panel A Announced
06 Jun 2023 PBIAA Sift R1 Panel Meeting A Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of this place based impact acceleration account (PBIAA) is to support the translation of University research in medical technologies into new clinical products and services.

There is a vibrant Medical Technology (MedTech) business cluster in the Yorkshire region, with over 200 companies employing more than 16,000 people, mostly in high value technical roles. The Universities of Leeds and Sheffield have strong track records in engineering and physical sciences research related to MedTech, particularly in areas that mirror the local business strengths (e.g. orthopaedics, dental, implantable devices and surgical technologies). While there is clear synergy between University research strengths and the business prominence in the region, there is currently a gap in the innovation funding pathway that is preventing technology innovations developed at the region's universities from being adopted by local companies.

The aim of this PBIAA is to provide support to bridge this gap and build the connections between the academic, industrial and clinical assets in the region that will help grow the regional economy. It is particularly timely because the MedTech sector is transforming and there is increasing integration of new technologies into products and services. There are growing numbers of high-growth, high-innovation MedTech companies in the region with an absorptive capacity to benefit from this PBIAA, but we will also proactively engage with established companies that need to adopt new innovations to address the changing markets.

We have worked with civic partners including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, NHS Trusts through the Leeds and Sheffield Biomedical Research Centres, local industry, investors and innovation support organisations to develop this proposal and shape the activities to most effectively enable impact to be realised from the region's engineering and physical sciences research base.

Commercialisation of innovations in the MedTech sector is challenging due to the regulatory barriers for products intended for use in humans, with evidence from extensive pre-clinical testing required to demonstrate the safety and efficacy. The PBIAA will fund Impact Projects that aim to generate evidence to derisk a technology, both to prove the technical concept is effective and to demonstrate that it is a commercially attractive proposition. A stage-gated approach will be used to encourage higher risk in the early stages and fast failure. These projects will act as exemplars to encourage further business engagement and outcomes will form a portfolio of evidence to inform future activities.

The PBIAA will also support activities to build the regional innovation environment. These include a suite of training activities and events that raise understanding of technical advances and translational processes in the MedTech sector, and act to bring together academic, clinical and industrial partners to help build a lasting innovation community. The PBIAA will support events to identify clinical needs, two-way secondments, as well as public and patient engagement activities that aim to improve understanding of needs across the diverse regional population. A dedicated collaboration fund will be used to support impact activities at universities across the region, nurturing the wider regional strengths in this sector, and draw on wider collaborations that utilise the full strengths of the UK research base.

The PBIAA will provide regional industry with a vital connection to state-of-the-art research, enabling a sustainable regional research-derived product development pipeline. It will help drive regional economic growth, with new innovations being adopted by regional industry, creating high value jobs and unlocking private sector investment in R&D, supporting a £3bn/year industry beyond 2035.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk