New Year Message


New Year Message

Date: January 9, 2018

New Year Message

Welcome to the first IKC-Regener8 newsletter of 2018. It is my pleasure to wish all Regener8 members and readers a very satisfying and successful New Year.

Our activities in 2018 will continue to be directed towards facilitating the establishment of regenerative devices in particular and, more widely, advanced medical technologies, as a vibrant, effective and important sector within UK life sciences. Over the past six weeks, we have been studying the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper which itself builds on the Green Paper I commented on in September. Whereas the Green Paper had 10 innovation pillars, the White Paper* concentrates on five themes (Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places) and introduces four Grand Challenges – including one on Ageing Society that will be of particular interest to the regenerative devices community. There are strategies to encourage cross- sector partnerships for innovation and the development and exploitation/commercialisation of new technologies, to raise the level of business investment in R&D, and to allow local innovation ecosystems to be further strengthened to ensure established and emerging clusters prosper so that success can be transmitted to other parts of the UK.

IKC-Regener8 members will be interested in investment announced for Innovate UK (additional £44m to allow £150m to be spent on responsive grant competitions in 2017/2018) and the focus on conversion of innovation into new products and services through new Innovate UK funding models including an Innovation Loans pilot (£50m), Investment Accelerator pilot (encouraging public and private investment in early-stage businesses) and continued funding for Catapults with the work of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult being particularly valued. Mention is also made of the need for start-ups to grow-on and scale-up with mechanisms to promote this being established through the British Business Bank.

The Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) of medical technology in the Leeds City Region is mentioned in the White Paper and a new Strength in Places fund (£115m) is announced to build on SIA findings and strengthen cross-sector collaboration as well as complement local industrial strategies.

With these new initiatives there will be plenty to concentrate minds and efforts on in the first half of this year. Please plan to join us for the Annual Conference on 29 June 2018 and also meetings of our sister organisations MeDe (18 January) and Translate (25 April). I look forward to catching up then if not before!


Professor Mike Raxworthy, Operations Director, Regener8

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