Innovate faster, develop better technologies, reduce risk
This online guide is designed for academics and researchers and will be useful for anyone with an interest in medical technologies innovation and translation, with a focus for innovators based in higher education or research institutions. Throughout this guide, we will give an overview of the medtech innovation pathway, common hurdles and pitfalls, and case studies of successful translation to equip you with the right skills and information to support you on your translational journey. Our expertise in this field was developed through the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) established by the University of Leeds in 2009, and through Grow MedTech, a consortium of six universities set up in 2018. Through these programmes, and working with our industry partners, we’ve progressed over 250 projects (proof of concept or technology development and demonstration), of which 84 have gone beyond Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 – with over 50 products or services reaching the market.
How this guide can help you
As an academic and researcher, your career ambition may well be to make an impact. partnering with a company, working with patients to develop solutions, or setting up a business can be a way of achieving this long-term impact. The reason you choose to translate your research may not always be for financial returns: it can be an effective way to enhance and sustain research activities after initial funding ends. Commercialisation of your developments can be the most effective way to ensure innovative technologies and treatments maximise the benefit for patients and health services by making those innovations widely available and sustainable.
Translating research can distinguish you and your work from your peers, while also making an extensive, positive impact on society.
Translating research in medical technologies is complex, with many phases, challenges and regulatory considerations. It takes a team, with involvement from many specialists to successfully translate research into a new product or service for patient benefit.
This guide provides practical advice to help you navigate the innovation pathway for medical technologies and will signpost you to appropriate support and resources available for each stage.
Support to develop your business case
The guide is broken down into accessible units, relevant to the different stages of your innovation journey. You can start at the beginning and work to the end or select where you are in your innovation journey and learn from there.
In each chapter you will find information, guidance and further resources relevant to academics in the UK. The guide has been co-funded by the University of Leeds, so there’s also specific guidance for participants from Leeds to follow.
There is a checklist at the end of each chapter to help build your business plan. Business plans are an essential tool that can be used in a multitude of ways – in funding applications, to attract collaborators, commercial partners, and investors. Information from the reflective tasks can be used to inform the development of your business plan, which will become a living document and asset as you navigate your innovation journey.