We reduce the risk and uncertainty of new technologies, opening the door for private sector investment to develop commercial products and deliver economic benefits.

We bring together technological and scientific knowledge with industry expertise to ensure our projects address clinical needs and market opportunities. We develop a viable business case for each technology we support, to ensure its progression and secure investment. We identify any risks and take action to reduce them, providing greater certainty for the private sector to take a technology through to product launch.

Focus on technology readiness

The Medical Technologies IKC aims to bridge the gap between fundamental research and commercialisation by moving projects on to higher technology readiness levels (TRLs), ensuring technologies are fit for purpose and ready for serious industrial investment.

Through the support we provide to researchers, clinicians and companies, we are able to speed up the translation of the fundamental science beyond TLR 2 to increase the potential for private sector investment in product development at TRL 5, thereby supporting the growth of the regenerative device market.

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Rationale for investment

Our robust and extensive pre-project evaluation increases the chances of success for the innovations we support. This increases our success rates, ensuring we rarely make significant investments in new products or services that are unlikely to proceed.

Our Technology Innovation Managers use their industry know-how and draw on the expertise of our clinicians to verify that a new product or service responds to an unmet need. They assess what’s on the market already and its associated costs, where any potential commercial opportunities lie and the value proposition for any new product, before initial proof of concept funding is agreed. The pre-project evaluation identifies technology gaps or safety concerns and carries out initial clinical validation and risk assessments.

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The Medical Technologies IKC aims to reduce risk and uncertainty for companies, allowing them to invest with greater certainty to progress a technology beyond the validation stage all the way through to launch and subsequent commercial viability.

We want to secure private sector investment for the technologies arising from world leading research in the Centre, because a commercial company’s willingness to invest is a sign of their confidence in the technology – and this ensures a greater likelihood of successful commercial product development. Our simulation expertise helps us predict long term clinical performance and outcomes. Combined with evaluation of key factors such as safety, efficacy, efficiency, health economics and clinical trials requirements, this approach increases the likelihood of a new medical product securing regulatory approval and also provides robust evidence to support commercial exploitation and investment. As a direct result of the Medical Technologies IKC de-risking technologies that have been taken up by the sector, industry has invested over £148 million in new product development.

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Proof of concept funding enables clinicians and academic researchers, often with input from industry, to assess and demonstrate that their initial idea has both clinical application and economic potential. Depending on the target device or technology, these Medical Technologies IKC grants can be used to develop working prototypes, gather additional experimental data or carry out pre-clinical testing.

Projects usually last for around 12 months, with a value of approximately £100k bringing technologies to a point where they are market ready, able to generate commercial investment for product development or can attract other funding to move to clinical trials.

The Medical Technologies IKC has funded over 80 proof of concept projects to date, with around 20 underway at any one time.

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Technologies and innovations that are closer to market and able to generate commercial interest are supported through the Medical Technologies IKC’s co-development projects. These are larger projects, match funded with industry with a value of between £200k-£400k and may follow on from proof of concept projects, with the IP usually held by the Medical Technologies IKC and licensed to the industry partner. The aim of the projects is to take the innovation through to technology readiness level five (TRL 5).

The Medical Technologies IKC has funded six co-development projects to date, working with DePuy Synthes, Simulation Solutions, Tissue Regenix, NHS Blood and Transplant, Invibio and Credentis. The projects have helped to develop next generation hybrid hip replacements, natural knee simulation systems, tissue engineered replacement menisci and anterior cruciate ligaments and new materials for knee replacements and to treat and repair tooth decay.

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The Medical Technologies IKC provides support to companies who need help at a later stage of the innovation pipeline. These late stage innovation projects may involve working with commercial organisations on new product development, such as providing criterial data for regulatory submissions.

In other cases, we provide support for products already on the market, such as generating supporting data on performance and effectiveness and additional marketing support data. The IKC has worked on 40 product development and support projects with 15 commercial partners, from global medical technology companies to specialist SMEs. In these late stage innovation projects, the intellectual property usually rests with the companies, with the Medical Technologies IKC providing a consultancy service to enable that technology or product to be brought to market or to reach new markets.