Enabling and celebrating excellence in academic-industry collaborations in health technology

by | Apr 28, 2023 |

Click here to view the event handbook.

On Wednesday 19th April, the Greater Manchester Connected Health Ecosystem welcomed speakers and over 40 attendees to Citylabs 1.0 for a series of talks, presentations and networking activities focussed around collaborations that have taken place as part of the ERDF R&I Health Accelerator programme.

This GM Connected Health Ecosystem event was all about enabling and celebrating excellence in research collaborations with industry. It was a joint event organised by the ERDF Research & Innovation AcceleratorTranslation Manchester, and the Christabel Pankhurst Institute Translation Theme. We brought academic researchers and industry partners together to exchange experiences of successful collaborations, identify opportunities for future collaborations, and to highlight support and funding opportunities for academic-industry collaborations.

Our attendees and speakers were welcomed to the event by Prof Chris Taylor who gave an overview of the programme and the partners involved before handing over to Dr Danielle White (Periscope Programmes), who facilitated the event.

The first session of talks included presentations from three business who have received support from the ERDF R&I Health Accelerator and their academic partners.

Lisa Miles, CEO of Wilbo’s Blends was joined by Alex Thompson to tell us about how the scheme has supported their journey to make real food for tube feeding, creating real food meals that provide natural goodness and variety.

Next up, Martyn Boaden and Debra Jones from Viscgo spoke about how they have developed new devices to improve the management of dysphasia by ensuring the thickness of drinks is correct for each person.

Our third case study talk of the day was from AI Nostics CEO Hojjat Azadbakht and academic partner Dr Hamied Haroon. AI Nostics combine exciting medical imaging innovations with AI solutions to unlock the future of patient information and diagnosis.

After a quick coffee break, we got to hear some more incrdeible success stories from companies that have benefitted from partnering with the ERDF R&I Acclerator programme.

We were joined by Sarah Cordery from Kuppd, a new breast prosthesis brand aiming to help people feel better in their own bodies. With Health Innovation Manchester and Manchester Fashion Institute, they use 3D scanning to understand more about bodies that have been through breast surgery.

Our final case study of the day was presented by Charlotte Giblin from Clinical Neuropsychology Services Ltd who specialize in services for children with acquired brain injuries. The R&I accelerator has helped them to develop Goal Manager, a system to optimize processes and make them more efficient

Following a lunch and networking session, we then heard about the fantastic funding opportunities and support that are available in this area.

Craig Alexander from FBMH Business Engagament gave us some key tips for collaborating with industry and Caroline Stanton, Head of SME Partnerships, talked us through funding opportunities for collaborative projects with SMEs.

Fiona Foster and Alessandro Faroni from Translation Manchester spoke about available support and funding opportunities for translational researchers and Matt Chapman from Innovate UK discussed further opportunites there.

This event was drawn to a close with a keynote talk from Prof. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Professor of nanomaterials, who gave a presentation on his research and experiences with commercialization processes.

Thank you to all of our wonderful guest speakers and attendees for joining us at this event. It was fascinating to hear about some of the fantastic projects that have received support from the ERDF R&I Accelerator and we look forward to following their journey’s.


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We run quarterley Ecosystem meetings – if you would like to get involved directly, please get in touch with Lucy Forth (lucy.forth@manchester.ac.uk)