Business Technology

Government injects medical SMEs with £18m to enhance healthcare innovation

3 min read

10 August 2015

Former deputy editor

The British government has injected £18m into medical SMEs to support healthcare innovations in an attempt to “improve or save lives and boost the UK's productivity”.

George Freeman, minister for life sciences, made the announcement to support the “next generation of medical advances” with the capital, which has been divided across 12 small businesses and projects.

The funding, which will go towards development of treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies, comes from the eighth Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) fund – a joint campaign from the Medical Research Council and government-backed Innovate UK.

“The UK’s healthcare industry has a worldwide reputation for excellence,” said Freeman. “By providing early support to these latest treatment and diagnosis developments, we are not only going to potentially help improve or save lives, we are helping businesses grow and boost the UK’s productivity.”

Of course, productivity has been a big area of focus for the government. It has committed £100bn to transport alone, while also addressing the skills gap and digital infrastructure as part of a larger plan.

With the BMC working with British SMEs and academics to help them commercialise products for patient benefit, Glasgow-based Ohmedics was among them. It produces advanced lung infection diagnostic systems for use in homes and clinics alike and secured £759,000.

John Savill, CEO of the Medical Research Council, said: “This round of awards is a further demonstration of the exceptional science coming out of the vibrant academic and industrial research base of the UK.

“The continued success of the Biomedical Catalyst illustrates the value of dedicated support to ensure that this country can rapidly exploit world-leading science for the benefit of patients and the UK economy.”

Read more on government funding:

University of Bath raised £900,000 for developing a wound dressing that detects infectious bacteria and ,according to project lead Toby Jenkins, funding will be used to design and manufacture a final prototype for human testing. 

Elsewhere, small Cambridge-based business, Mission Therapeutics, raised £1.9m for its work on treating tumours and

Ruth McKernan, CEO of Innovate UK, added: “Delivering efficient and effective healthcare has never been more important, and innovation is central to making that happen.

“Through the Biomedical Catalyst, Innovate UK have backed innovative companies that are taking on this challenge and developing the medical advances of the future that will potentially help to save lives and money.”

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