Academics, partners and industry alike joined us to celebrate the success of our inaugural cohort at our MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC) Showcase in the Francis Crick Institute.
The showcase marked the culmination of an intensive eight-month programme that accelerated not only the development of our cohort’s medical technologies, but also their personal and professional development.
The ventures have surpassed expectations: Of the ten ventures;
- five are in the process of forming a company and hiring staff
- four have progressed to clinical trials
- three have patents filed
- between them, the ventures have raised over £1m in funding.
The medical technology produced is as diverse as the institutions involved; it includes a robotic liner to improve the experience of using prosthetic limbs, an AI platform for assessing musculoskeletal disorders and rapid low-cost diagnostics for Tuberculosis.
One cohort member, George Waddell told the audience about his venture MedStudio, a digital learning platform aimed at enhancing the performance of healthcare practitioners that is set to be the Royal College of Music’s first commercialised technology in its 130-year history. He said: “Taking part in the MedTech SuperConnector has opened my eyes to the potential of commercialisation to increase the impact and scope of the research we do in the Centre for Performance Science. Thanks to the rigorous training and opportunities to interact with leading figures in industry, my team and I are taking bold new steps that wouldn’t have been possible without the programme.”
150 delegates from nearly 80 organisations gathered to learn about the technological innovations and journeys of the ventures so far. Cohort members presented their ventures to directors and innovators in medicine from Royal Society of Medicine, NHS England and Cancer Research UK; in finance from Gemini Capital and the National Institute for Health Research; and in the wider start-up community from Feeliom and WHub. The showcase has already led to new avenues and opportunities for the ventures to continue their journeys.
Our ventures, whom are early career researchers, set the tone for the event’s industry led all-female panel discussion on the role of academia in developing the next generation of MedTech Innovation. The expert panel comprised Dr Suruchi Kothari, Clinical Director at Osso VR; Dr Indra Joshi, Digital Health & AI Clinical Lead at NHS England; Dr Neha Tanna, Strategic & Venture Partner at Eos Venture Partners; and Bridget Gildea, Director of Learning at the Royal Society of Medicine.
Dr Joshi stressed the importance of academia and the MTSC’s focus on diversity in developing the next generation of MedTech Innovation. She said: “The MedTech SuperConnector’s and others collaborative programmes and events to talk, connect and communicate with a diverse range of people is the way forward for MedTech innovation”.
Supported by a £5m grant from Research England, we are experimenting with the design of accelerator programmes to better support ventures on their journey to get their technology to market.
“The MedTech SuperConnector’s first cohort has seen phenomenal success,” said Professor David Gann, Vice-President (Innovation), Imperial College London. “The project’s experimentation in the design of accelerator programmes is adding real value to the development and support for new MedTech ideas and innovations.”
We will now continue to experiment with design of each accelerator programme and we are also excited for our second cohort, who will now undergo a radically different challenge led programme design.
By Rachael Katz
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