The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have urged SMEs manufacturing healthcare products to apply for a research grant worth up to £35,000.
The Horizontal Innovation Programme will offer one SME support worth up to £35,000 to enable its innovation or product to be commercialised to help solve some of the current NHS challenges.
IET president Naomi Climer, said: “The UK is renowned across the world for creativity and innovation, but we aren't always so good at commercialising our innovations. This is particularly difficult for SMEs who face barriers and challenges at the product development stage including funding, expertise, business processes and technologies.
“Through this programme we are offering one lucky SME the opportunity to gain access to highly skilled engineers and some of the world's most advanced manufacturing equipment, enabling them to develop and commercialise a technology solution on an industrial scale.”
SMEs need to submit a proposal that demonstrates how their technology solution for the healthcare sector can be used and commercialised.
The proposal should aim to solve a real-life issue within NHS patient care, which could include anything from initial patient transportation through to recovery.
The selected applicant will have access to the MTC's flexible factory capabilities, as well as receiving support in business planning, product design, intellectual property protection and engineering expertise.
MTC chief technologist for digital engineering Jeremy Hadall, said: “Delivering Horizontal Innovation across sectors is very much a key part of MTC's remit. So we are proud to be partnering with the IET and its cross-sectorial members to launch this programme.
“The successful applicant will not only have access to the MTC's highly skilled engineers, advanced manufacturing equipment and business expertise but will in the process be delivering a major step forward in the treatment of patients within the healthcare system which will be of benefit to society as a whole.”