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Boost for NHS Innovation as Medtech Accelerator Announce First Award Winners

31 July 2017

Cambridge, UK, 31 July 2017: The Medtech Accelerator, a new company set up to provide proof of concept financial awards to support development of medical technology and software innovations originating primarily from within the NHS, today announced the first round of successful projects. Three pioneering projects will share in £200K to help progress their early stage technologies towards viable solutions to currently unmet healthcare needs. 

The Medtech Accelerator was launched at the end of 2016 as a unique joint venture between the NHS and regional business partners including Health Enterprise East (HEE), New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). The company recognises the current lack of funding available for proof of concept work in healthcare, and provides necessary support and financing for NHS-led projects in order to maximise the potential for success in bringing new life enhancing technologies to patients.

Following the first call for applications to the Medtech Accelerator, awards go to:

Award 1: Arterial GlucoSave
Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam and Dr Peter Young - Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust
A patient safety solution to eliminate the common error of incorrect fluids being administered as the flush solution prior to blood sampling from an arterial line in the critical care setting. A sodium chloride solution is the recommended flush solution but can often be confused with glucose-containing bags. This can result in artefactually high glucose concentrations in blood samples drawn from the arterial line leading to insulin administration causing hypoglycaemia and fatal neuroglycopenic brain injury. The Arterial GlucoSave technology designs out this error and the award will be used to take early prototypes through to a CE marked medical device ready for market. 

Award 2: Helping children with ‘glue ear’ to hear 
Dr Tamsin Brown - Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust * 
The development of a novel bone conduction headset technology for children with long-term glue ear, the persistent build-up of ear wax in the ear canal. The technology will be used in the school, clinical and home settings to overcome the child’s hearing loss, preventing them from falling behind at school at a crucial development stage. The award will allow the team to further build up the business case for the technology including gaining market insight to progress product development.

Award 3: Bacteriophage-based solution for the treatment of implant related infections 
Professor Iain McNamara - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust **
Bacterial infection accounts for 25% of revision hip and knee replacement operations resulting in surgical site infections (SSIs) in orthopaedic surgery. Revision of infected implants is associated with substantial morbidity and economic cost. This project will develop a new biologic based product coating (bacteriophage) for implanted prosthetic materials to eradicate bacterial infections in revision hip and knee joint replacement surgery. The award brings together four parties and will cover both the initial production and testing of the bacteriophage in an in-house model system with a view to designing a path for commercialisation. 

Stuart Thomson, Medtech Accelerator commented: “The Medtech Accelerator is a great example of a public sector partnership working together to encourage creative thinking within the NHS. The quality of applications following our inaugural call has been outstanding and really illustrates that the NHS is full of entrepreneurial people with the ideas and expertise to improve healthcare. We are delighted to be supporting three fantastic examples of innovation and look forward to working closely with the inventors to make  the ideas a reality for patients.”

Steven Wilson, Head of Innovation at GCGP Enterprise Partnership added: "As an LEP we are focussed on helping to drive forward sustainable economic growth in our area. With Life Sciences recognised as a priority key sector for us in the recent East of England Science and Innovation Audit, we are delighted to be part of the Medtech Accelerator joint venture and to see this first round of awards being made under our co-investment."

For more information on the Medtech Accelerator visit

* in collaboration with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Engineering
** in collaboration with University of East Anglia (UEA), Institute of Food Research (IFR) and ANGLIAN AGRI-TECH VENTURES


Notes for Editors
For more information please contact:
Zyme Communications
Sarah Jeffery
Phone: +44 (0) 7771 730919

Health Enterprise East
Chris Armstrong 
Phone: +44 (0)1223 928040

Notes to Editors

About Medtech Accelerator Ltd
The Medtech Accelerator Ltd has been set up to facilitate the early stage development of innovations in the broad area of medical technology (devices, diagnostics, software and eHealth) that meet unmet clinical needs within the NHS.

As a joint venture between Health Enterprise East, New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP) Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), the Medtech Accelerator supports and finances projects at an early stage in order to maximise the potential for success in bringing new life enhancing technologies to patients. A total of £1.5 million is available with individual awards to be made of between £15,000 and £125,000 to innovation projects that show the potential to create future spin-out companies primarily out of NHS organisations. Awards are aimed at supporting proof of concept work which might include IP protection, market analysis, prototype development and testing, clinical evaluation, regulatory support and pilot product production

About Health Enterprise East
Health Enterprise East (HEE) is a leading NHS innovation hub committed to improving healthcare through the provision of professional business and innovation management services. The HEE team works with NHS organisations nationally and Med Tech companies globally to support the development of innovative products and services which meet currently unmet healthcare needs. The company offers a broad range of tailored services from strategic analysis and market validation, to practical advice and insight. 

Through its member services, HEE also ensures that pioneering innovations from staff across the NHS are identified, developed and commercialised for the benefit of patients, staff and society. Closely affiliated with founding member Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, HEE currently serves over 30 NHS organisations in the East of England, East Midlands and North London including. Trusts can opt to sign up as members of HEE and access a full range of skills and expertise.

About Local Enterprise Partnerships
There are 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England. They are local business led partnerships between local authorities and businesses and play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.

New Anglia LEP ( covers Norfolk and Suffolk, and is responsible for growing the economy of the two counties by addressing barriers to growth including addressing issues surrounding finance, skills and infrastructure.

In response to the perceived lack of risk-capital available to growing and start-up businesses, New Anglia LEP has established New Anglia Capital Ltd as a subsidiary for the purposes of building an angel investor network in Norfolk and Suffolk, with a view to providing equity finance to early-stage and growth-potential companies in the two counties on a co-investment basis with angel investors. 

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP ( covers Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Rutland, West Suffolk, West Norfolk, Uttlesford, South Kesteven, and South Holland. It is driving forward economic growth by overcoming key barriers that hold local businesses back, rom infrastructure improvements and skills development through to business support and directly investing in innovation.

By making investment to support new business growth and jobs creation across the GCGP area, the LEP can help to define the future by enabling businesses to accelerate their innovation and reach the commercialisation stage sooner.

About Eastern Academic Health Science Network
Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN) is one of 15 AHSNs set up to spread innovation at pace and scale across the healthcare system – in order to achieve the ultimate goals of both improving health and generating economic growth.

Innovation is its business with deep rooted knowledge of the academic, industry and NHS sectors, and the challenges of diffusing best practice and innovation. Its regional focus ensures that the organisation is grounded in the specific context of local populations and clinical communities. It understands the challenges and is able to translate innovations to achieve better health outcomes at pace and scale. 

Eastern AHSN doesn’t work alone. The strength of its partnerships uniquely positions it to connect diverse bodies from across the health and care system enabling the successful co-creation of solutions to achieve better patient outcomes. AHSNs are the only bodies that connect all partners across sectors: NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, working as catalysts to create the right conditions that facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, improving outcomes for patients.