From good to great: What makes a good innovation funding proposal – full transcripts
1. Introducing our Opportunity Management Panel members:
Jo Dixon-Hardy: As we all know, funding applications can be daunting, whether it’s for large or small sums of money, and they can make or break a project. I’m delighted to welcome today members of the Grow MedTech Opportunity Management Panel, to answer your questions on what takes a proposal from good to great.
Michael Kipping: Thanks, Josephine. Hi, everybody, my name is Michael Kipping, and I’m one of the Health Innovation Leads at Innovate U.K.
Patrick Trotter: My name is Patrick Trotter, and I’m the Head of Innovation, Commercialisation and Regulatory at Medilink North of England.
Lindsay Georgopoulos: Hi, everyone, my name’s Lindsay Georgopoulos and I’m Head of Innovation at an organisation called Medipex.
Sean Clarkson: I’m Sean Clarkson and I lead on strategy and policy for the AHSN, and also provide a Chief of Staff role to our Chief Exec.
Sue Watson: Hi everyone, my name is Sue Watson and I’m the patient and public representative here today.
Danielle Miles: I’m Daniel Miles, I’m the Grow MedTech programme lead and also make up part of the Technology Innovation Management team on Grow MedTech.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: So, as you see, an absolute wealth of experience here to make the most of for the next half hour or so. Do post questions for this panel in the chat
2. What stands out as a strong funding proposal?
Jo Dixon-Hardy: I’m going to start with a question which I’m going to pose in two ways to the panel, depending on which they find the easiest way to answer, which is either from your perspective, what stands out for you in a really good funding proposal? Or you may want to view it from the angle of, what would make a proposal look, particularly as if it had got a lot of gaps. You can take that from either way you want to, I’ll maybe start with Michael on this one in terms of what makes you think ‘Wow that’s really got it’ or ‘wow that’s really missing something,’ are there any things you can flag to the audience?
Michael Kipping: In the context of developing products for patients and healthcare professionals, so Sue and other patients, and health care professionals would be my primary interest area. So, what’s the current gold standard of care and what are the potential benefits of whatever product you’re considering developing? Because, you know, that’s the fundamental basis for it. If you don’t have a strong view on what the gold standard is and how your innovation might benefit patients and users, then you’re not going to get anywhere basically.
And moving on from that, Innovate UK broadly asks ten questions. We look at the need, we’ve talked about the clinical need already. What’s innovative about your approach, and having an understanding of, firstly the gold standard, but other companies, organisations approaches within that space – it’s really important.
But at an early stage, you don’t need to worry too much, but having an understanding of what your product is. By that I mean, is it a medical device or is it a consumer product or what is it? And there is a is a really good free tool that you can use called Oxford Global Guidance. If you tap into to Google, it’s free tool, and it’s basically it’s a decision tree. It’ll ask you questions about your product. They’ll tell you whether you’re a medical device or not and what sort of class of medical device you are. And that’s really quite helpful in understanding the sort of evidence you’ll need together down the line for your products.
Also having an understanding of your freedom to operate. Okay, you’ve looked at the clinical need and the gold standard and the benefit to patients and users. And you’ve looked at the market, but do you have freedom to do what you want to do or has another company or organisation already sort of snaffled the IP in that space?
Those are the key areas. The area I see commonly which is the weakest is the understanding of the regulatory pathway, and for me, if you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand the evidence requirements needed for your product.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s a really helpful point and some really useful links there for people as well. I’m going to ask other members of the panel if they want to elaborate on or add any elements. Lindsay?
Lindsay Georgopoulos: Yeah, I everything that Michael just said is completely spot on.
I think for me as well, one of my biggest things is making sure that it’s really clear throughout what the need is what you’re targeting, that the description of it is really, really clear. If I had to Google something that’s in a lay summary, that sort of instantly makes me worry that I’m not going to be able to understand the rest of the application, so I think it’s really important. Some reviewers will be specialists in your area, they will be deliberately chosen because they know about your area, but there will be some generalists as well who, yes, have scientific knowledge or medical knowledge, but won’t be experts in your niche. So, making sure that you really clearly describing what it is you’re trying to do and the problem that you’re solving, I think is really important.
And kind of building on what Michael was saying about your freedom to operate in competitors. Don’t be afraid to actively encourage people to acknowledge competitors that are in the space because, number one, it’s not always a bad thing that there are competitors trying to solve the same problem, as it kind of validates the fact that it’s a real problem, so it can demonstrate that there’s a real activity in this area, but also articulating it in a way that “these are all out there, but actually ours is this better because of this,” because what the reviewers often do is do a quick Google of this problem, they’ll find 10 solutions that say they solve that problem. They might not necessarily look into the detail of it and come back and say “well, this what you’re doing, there’s loads of stuff already out there.” So, if in your application you can tackle that head-on and say “we are aware of these other things, but actually they don’t meet the clinical need because of X, Y and Z, and ours does,” that really helps kind of head-off any negativity at the pass, I think, about the novelty and the need for your idea.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: So you’re really focused there, Lindsay on communication, what they’re about, thinking about the audience, thinking about the language you use, how you say things and making it accessible was really coming through. Thank you for that. Patrick, do you have further things you’d like to elaborate on?
Patrick Trotter: Yeah. I fully endorse what both Michael and Lindsay said. And I guess when you talk about the need, another way of looking at the need is what what’s the problem that you’re trying to solve and what is your solution, and why does it add value that the other solutions don’t have.
One, I guess, a bit of a bugbear that some of the organisations I work with, they’ll consider competitors only as those organisations with the technology quite similar to them. And they’re not really thinking about all the different solutions. For example, you might have an in-vitro diagnostic device, but some of the solutions can be imaging devices, which are answering the same problem, so try and think a bit more holistically about other disruptive technologies that might address that problem and address it from that perspective.
I guess one thing that’s not been mentioned so far is outline that roadmap to commercialisation and look at the skills that you’ll need to do it, and make sure you’ve got an appropriate skill set. And if you haven’t got that skill set, find people who have got those skills to bring them into the team. Because, again, if you haven’t got the team or the skills to develop the project and make it a commercial success, there are reviewers who are going to kind of question mark that and you don’t want to get marked down on one question that your team’s weaker than it should be.
Michael can probably comment on the Innovate UK ten questions, but if you’re not scoring eights, eight and a half, nines and over nine on those questions, if you score poorly in one question, you’re probably not going to get it funded.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: And that’s a really important point you make, Patrick, because we often think from an academic perspective about what are the gaps in academic expertise that we need to fill. So, we might collaborate with other universities on addressing those, but actually thinking about the gaps in the skills and knowledge to actually take that technology forward down that innovation pathway are actually just as important.
Patrick Trotter: Yeah, and I think it’s those commercialisation skills, the regulatory skills that are critically important.
I guess the other comment that I would like to address is that a lot of our organisations get products CE marked and then they’ll start using a lot of bad language about the NHS, why they can’t get it adopted. But that’s because as part of that project, they have not identified reimbursement as an issue that they need to address. It’s really important to get that business case for adoption, not just for the NHS, but for those international markets that you’re addressing, and make sure that your evidence plan, that your clinical trial design, builds up that business case for adoption and knowing what your clinical investigation is going to look like, the number of patients, etc, can help you frame those milestones and justify how much cash that you’re actually asking for.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s great, Patrick, and I think that probably provides a nice segue into Sean, who may have some further views on that end of the pipeline.
Sean Clarkson: Yes. Thanks, Jo. Again, echo everything that everybody said already. Actually, I was going to focus on the communication point Lindsay made earlier, actually. And just talk a little bit more about a couple of things that you mentioned, Lindsay.
So I think putting it right back to basics, the two key things that every funding proposal has to have in it for me is: what is the challenge and opportunity you are trying to address, and what is your solution or project or product?
And it sounds like a really daft basic answer to the question, but you will be amazed at the amount of funding applications that I read on a weekly, daily basis that don’t have those two key bits of information in there.
And putting yourself in the position of a reviewer who’s got a stack of these applications to review. If they can’t quickly identify the challenge you’re trying to address and what your solution is, it makes it so hard to try and read the rest of the application and kind of assess the application and me myself sitting on these review panels is really helped hone my skills in that area.
So, I kind of implore everybody to try and put themselves in the position of a reviewer, think like a reviewer. And if you do get any opportunities to be a reviewer and kind of learn in that way, then I would definitely do it. And just building on that point around communicating what kind of project or product is, I think intellectual property is often seen as a bit of a barrier to be able to apply for funding and to be able to communicate actually what your product or project is.
I remember sitting on a Dragons Den style funding panel, and it was after, I think, a six month intensive accelerator programme where all the companies on this accelerator had been through training on product adoption, regulatory, intellectual property and so on. There we all sat and heard their elevator pitches for their products. And it was a fantastic product pitched as part of this. And the impact that they were demonstrating was incredible around how they were looking to transform cancer patients, address waiting times and all sorts and the impact on the NHS, the impact on patients, would have been phenomenal based on what they were saying. However, the panel found it absolutely impossible to get out of them what the actual product was that they developed. And it was so frustrating for the panel that not being able to actually fund this project, which sounds like it had massive potential for impact, yet we couldn’t identify what they’re actually doing and they were following what they believe was IP advice around not disclosing what the product was and as important as IP is and all of us on this panel today will testify to that.
I think taking a very pragmatic approach to it is so important that from the stage, you’ve got to give the reviewer enough information to be able to make a pragmatic and judgmental decision about whether this product could be invested in what the business value is there.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: Well, I mean, we’re getting some really, really good practical pointers here, which is absolutely what we were looking for. So, thank you very much so far.
3. What makes a good funding proposal in the eyes of a lay audience or public/patient reviewer?
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: I’m going to ask Sue to talk further about the elements you’re involved with. Sue, in terms of the patient and public involvement, what makes a good funding proposal in that sense?
Sue Watson: Yes. For me, it’s the PPI section: in very plain English, no jargon or as very little as possible, and it’s also very important to have meaningful PPI rather than tokenistic. So that means that you have to look at the funding for any PPI that you need throughout the course of the funding project and get PPI in as soon as possible. There are loads of resources you can go to: NHIR everybody knows about, I’m sure, which is an excellent source of help and lots and lots of PPI groups around the country would be able to help.
And it’s worth noting that, you know, these are impartial people, PPI members, they’re not there to criticise out of any malice, but they are there to make your funding bid more successful, and it’s just worth noting that, sort of, to get in as soon as you can with them and they’ll be a tremendous help to you.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: I mean, can I just pick up, Sue, that one of the earlier points was made around communication? Because I think the lay summary is often a very important part of a proposal. If you have a patient involvement group reviewing it, they may well not have specialist technical expertise in the area. Some of them may, but not all of them will. So, have you any thoughts on providing the lay summary?
Sue Watson: It’s really just, I think, thinking about your target PPI members that are going to be reading it. It needs to be without too much technical knowledge or information, if you can make it so. I mean, obviously, you’re going to have to have some medical information, I’m sure. But it’s really just looking at it and thinking, would my seven-year-old, be able to understand that? and if not, then you’ve probably got too much jargon in it. So, it’s really plain English, no acronyms, and you’re well on your way there.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s really helpful as a really helpful way of expressing it, Sue, to say, imagine a child reading it and that’s probably a very good baseline. I think we sometimes forget because we’re immersed in high tech language all the time, it’s sometimes easy to forget that not everyone will follow it. Thank you. Danielle, is there anything you’d like to elaborate on or bring in addition to what’s been said?
Danielle Miles: Yeah, I 100 per cent agree what everyone’s already said. And I think a lot of the points that were made were things I would have liked to have made as well.
But I think one of the things I’d like to say is that when you’re applying for innovation and translation funding you need to be aware, particularly if you’re from an academic setting, that those proposals are different to research proposals. You should be thinking about them as a way of starting to develop your business case, starting to think about how the funding proposal itself becomes a bit of an asset to you. And that’s part of the project itself, how you articulate the things that have already been commented on: your need, your solution, your market opportunity, your competitors.
So actually, putting the time and effort into these funding proposals, it shouldn’t just be about getting the money. It’s also about building that evidence case and thinking about how you communicate that information.
One thing I’ve got a bit of experience over the last couple of years, I mean, I’m not sure I want to tell people how to suck eggs here. But one of the things I’ve been pleasantly surprised by is a lot of the funders are now putting out some really good guidance. And Innovate UK always have extensive guidance around their calls, frequently asked questions, tips, and advice on how to answer it. And it still surprises me how many people haven’t read those before they start drafting their first application. And actually, then what happens is that people aren’t answering the exam questions. So actually really sort of taking the time to read through the guidance, read through the extra information, read through the frequently asked questions, can be really useful and help you think about how you communicate your idea, how you answer the questions that are being asked in the in the funding proposal. And I think importantly, that then goes on sort of thinking about the difference between research proposals and innovation proposals. As we’ve already said, it’s really about the solution and the need.
So one of my bugbears is actually, and Sue sort of touched upon this with the jargon and some of the others have as well, that you really need to think carefully about the scientific and technical information that you put in there. And is it appropriate? Think about who the reviewers are. They’re not probably going to be your peers in your academic setting. They’re going to be innovation and commercialisation professionals, potentially other companies. Some of them might have specialist knowledge in your particular technology, but they weren’t in the same way that your academic review panels will do. So, I think making sure that you sort of put information in that’s relevant, how you answer the questions rather than just putting data in there or graphs or technical jargon for the sake of it is really important. So, sort of thinking about the specific proposal and the questions you’re asking. Then just finish off and build upon this is as well as thinking about the questions that are being asked in the proposal.
One of the things I always try and get my team to do up front is actually not think about the proposal itself, think about the project, take a step back. What are you trying to address? What questions need answering? What are your current biggest technical risks? Why do you need to do this bit of this project and get this money in the first place? Then while you’re doing that as well, not only thinking about what you need to immediately address, but what will you still need to address at the end of this project? Because that starts how you formulate your next steps, follow-on plan, and makes it sound more realistic rather than kind of tokenistic, because actually you can really be honest in your appraisal of where you’re at, what you’re going to do in this bit of project and what you’re going to do next, and I think that’s really important. You know, no grant funding is going to get you from idea to the market, realistically, especially not in the medical technology space so knowing where you’re at, what you’re going to do in the project and what you’re doing next is really important.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: And I think that’s a really important point there actually, Danielle, because this is actually about reality and reviewers knowing that you recognise what the key questions and challenges are and you thought about how you’re going to navigate them. So, it’s really important, I think. Thank you for that.
4. What is your advice to research groups struggling to find a relevant patient involvement group?
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: There was a question coming through the chat, which I think I’ll direct to Sue in the first instance, which says we’ve struggled tremendously to find any PPI group active or meaningful to our technology, even via our clinical collaborators, what would be your advice?
So, someone here’s looking to find a relevant patient involvement group for what they’re trying to develop? I think Danielle might have some insight into the actual technology here as well. So maybe Danielle, do you want to say a little bit about the angle of this to help Sue to think about it?
Danielle Miles: Maybe actually, Sue, if you don’t mind if I if I start this and then maybe you can come in with how you can make it meaningful but I think one way that we’ve seen was already mentioned. They’ve sort of tried to go about it through their clinical collaborators which is one route but not having much success as of yet, another way that we’ve had quite a bit of success through numerous projects on our programme is actually looking at medical research charities so there’s the Association of Medical Research Charities, they’ve got a website, they’ve got all of their members listed on there. Quite often the research charities will have PPI groups associated with them or be able to connect you into that. That’s one route.
There are more generic patient and public involvement groups at pretty much all hospitals, and some GP surgeries will as well, and sometimes you can connect with and also sort of local and national ones as well sort of more broader, so I think it depends on the kind of questions you’re asking and how you wanting to get people involved. I think, just keeping the highlight here on me a little bit, but I think you need to think about what you’re trying to do with them and what and what you need to help with and actually going back to what makes a good funding proposal. I’m a really big advocate of getting patients involved at the kind of draft development stage. They can really help you with your lay summaries, with are you articulating all the points and then they can become champions and advocates for your project as you as you move forward. Sue, I don’t know if you’ve got any other thoughts about how people can engage with patients in a meaningful way or get access to patients?
Sue Watson: I think you’ve answered most of it, Danielle. Charities is a good place as well to go to for any relevant medical need and things like that. Because I don’t understand too much about the fungal infection, but whether or not dermatology would be involved in that. Dermatology at Chapel Allerton has a great group which may be an avenue to go down or it might be worth just contacting some of the PPI groups and they may have contacts at other places, and not necessarily just look at your own area but especially now we have zoom you can look through other areas as well and other hospitals to see if they have any PPI groups so it’s casting the net as wide as possible. I know that we get at the BRC in Leeds requests that don’t come under the musculoskeletal and we’re sometimes able to push them across to other relevant PPI groups. So even if it’s not a relevant one you may want to just try a PPI group that you know is successful – and I’ll plug ours because it’s very good – and they may be able to pass you on to someone who is more relevant to you.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s really helpful. I hope that helps Yoselin, and if not do get back in touch with us and we’ll see if we can help some more.
5. What tips and pointers would you give to researchers that are not familiar with the regulatory
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: Moving on I wanted to pick up on Michael’s comment in his introduction, about regulatory and understanding the regulatory pathway. Now I think this is notoriously challenging, particularly at a time like this, with Brexit and the revision of regulatory guidelines. I wondered if you could give some advice to researchers on how to get to grips with this. If it’s something they are not familiar with at this stage of their research. If you could give some tips and pointers.
Michael Kipping: We’ve talked about quite a breadth of areas and elements and tips to think about, but kind of early in the translation of space, early in the development of your product I would actually expect you to have a have a really strong view on the market opportunity. By the time you actually get to market in 2-3-4 years’ time, whatever it is, you know the market will have changed, and your understanding of it will have changed as well. We would still expect you to have an understanding.
The same is true of regulation as well. I wouldn’t expect you to have a detailed and regulatory plan at feasibility, but what I would expect you to do is to have an understanding that your product is an IVD, or it’s a medical device, and knowledge that you would need a notified body down the line. You don’t need to have a notified body, you just need to have an understanding of where your product sits, and what regulatory pathway broadly looks like at a high-level view. Obviously, the closer it gets to market the higher my expectations of you would be. If you came to us for late stage funding and you wanted to do a clinical evaluation, then I would expect you to have a really detailed plan. I’d expect you to have a notified body. I’d expect you to have an understanding when I say what 13485 was and have appropriate risk management measures. All that sort of stuff. I wouldn’t expect you to have all that at feasibility! Sort of an incremental thing.
I put a link in the chat to talks with Global Guidance which is again, free, and it can you know it it’ll give you a sense of what your product is. I think once you’ve done that feasibility, and you’ve got a good sense that there is a clinical need and there is a potential market for it then I would suggest that you get some advice if you were to go for further funding if you were to go for sort of seed funding or angel or something like that. Spending a few thousand pounds with a regulatory consultant that can then help you develop a granular plan for your product that outlines you know the claims you want to make because, I’ll use my glasses for this – it is the only trick I’ve got so bear with me – so with these glasses if I say the glasses are here to protect my eyes from flying shards they’re PPE, if I say they’re really glasses then there are consumer product, if I say they have a prescription of 1.5 then there are medical device, only class one but still a medical device, so the same thing can follow different regulatory pathways depending on the claims you make. Working with a consultant to clarify those claims and then understand the evidence requirements that you need to address to put together your technical file to give to a notified body is well worth the money, because you got clear view on what you need the money for, you know those evidence requires he need the money for.
At first just get a high-level understanding of what it is you’re developing, and then once you’ve got a you know a strong field that you’ve got you know the ideas got legs then spending a little bit of money with a consultant I would strongly suggest. To do that you can go to you know the likes Medilink and Patrick, there’s also an organisation that I’m part of called TOPRA the Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs and they might be able to help you as well.
Lindsay Georgopoulos: Just building on that, this is aimed at the technology transfer professionals on the call here, the University of Sheffield, I don’t know if you’re aware, have recruited a regulatory expert in residence. It is a post, one day a week and it’s to support all of their researchers who are developing medical technologies to give them that kind of introductory information on regulatory affairs. It’s actually one of my colleagues, Claire Lankester, that’s filling that role for the University of Sheffield for the next 12 months, so that’s something that they’re trying and it might just be worth something that other universities could consider, because for relatively low cost you’ve got somebody who can work across all the projects and at various different stages and give them the right kind of information to put into those funding proposals in particular but also to sort of upskill the academic researchers and kind of you know, enable them to share that knowledge with other people that they’re working with.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: A real sign of good practice that should maybe be shared across the HEI community I think there, thank you that’s really helpful to know, we’ll have a look at what’s going on with Sheffield there as well.
6. How much of an understanding of the clinical pathway for technologies is required for proposals?
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: I was thinking about something that maybe Sean and Patrick might be able to comment on. When we’re thinking about ‘where are we going to try and get this technology to?’, how detailed of an understanding you have to have of the clinical pathway that this technology is aimed for. I’m thinking about the kind of the clinical input here, and what you show in the proposal, and I wondered if maybe Sean wanted to comment on this first actually those sorts of clinical insights.
Sean Clarkson: Think about the type of funding that you’re going for, where that funding sits in the overall technology development scale. I think regardless of the scale I’d be looking at a clear plan for where you imagine that product sitting within the NHS. So, is this going to be a patient facing innovation i.e. the patient would buy it, the patient would pay for it, the patient would use it, and it would sit independent of a healthcare environment.
Is it one which would sit within the healthcare environment: would be administered by a healthcare professional and would solely be used by that healthcare professional; or might be used in conjunction with the patient? All of that firstly influences the stuff we were just talking about around regulation, but secondly it really influences that route to market and that plan to market. We often hear a lot about clinical needs and talking around this kind of notion of clinical need and it’s really hard as a reviewer often to pick underneath the surface and try and identify actually – is its clinical need? I often talk about clinician need versus clinical need, and quite often project teams have their kind of friendly clinician who they work with and they say ‘oh we’ve got a need to do XYZ’ and I always say have you validated that beyond this clinician, have you validated it beyond the hospital that you’re working with, and trying to look much wider. Try and see actually is this another true unmet clinical need which is a national challenge or a local challenge actually warrants significant investment in terms of time and money to develop a project. Or is it actually just an operational challenge that one particular commission is facing and could be addressed in different ways. Again, I think that influences that plan and that route to market.
The other thing I would really recommend people to do is to look wider than their innovation and where they think it might sit. If you’ve done your research and you have identified that there is an opportunity to develop a digital widget to support particular patient cohort and you could start to demonstrate some impact on that patient cohort and your thinking about going for funding, look wider and see where that fits in a much wider NHS landscape. I’m sure lots of you have heard things around sustainability and transformation plans, integrated care systems, NHS 5-year plans, NHS long term plans and all sorts of other plans and policies and strategies and so on. The NHS has put out recently they are kind of the lifeblood to the NHS they’re how the NHS works and a national and local level, how the NHS thinks around innovation, how funding is directed, so looking at that, looking at the key priorities in there thinking about how your product aligns with that and how it can start to realise some of the NHS ambitions is so important and actually we can put together a really compelling case to a funder when you start to think about things like that.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s really helpful, those two answers together have given us a real depth of granularity on that, so thank you for that Sean.
7. When do commercial partners become important in a proposal?
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: I’m mindful that we’re approaching the end of our session I think I would like to try and squeeze in one more question if I can maybe this one Patrick might want to pick up: We’ve talked about patient involvement, we’ve talked about the importance of clinical pathways, at what point should we be thinking about commercial partners in our pathway, you know when do commercial partners and talking about those and bringing them into a proposal, at what point does that become really important, Patrick, in in your view?
Patrick Trotter: I think as part of that road map to commercialisation we’ve talked a lot about the end user, segmenting the market, but I guess that route to market: who’s going to manufacture it, are you going to try and get funding, or are you going to manufacture it yourself? Are you going to find a subcontractor? I think it’s really bespoke to that individual project.
I would say that during the early stages you can start thinking how are we going to make it: From a practical point of view how is it going to be processed? How is it going to be sterilised? Is it going to be stable through the sterilisation?
I think Michael talked a little bit about the product claims earlier, how long does the shelf life have to be? Does it have to be stored refrigerated? All those issues may create technical problems that you might bring in additional collaborators to solve. If something’s not stable at 25 degrees, room temperature, you may have a technical hurdle that you might need to get over. You might need to collaborate with another university for example who’s got those solutions.
I think it’s really bespoke to the project but that kind of value chain, how you’re going to make it, how you are going to sell it, how you going to distribute and what markets you’re going to sell into are really important.
There was one project we were involved with a couple of years ago where there was a need to surgery and we were looking at the market and the technology was really only suitable for some markets: it was a surgical procedure which is carried out in France but in the NHS it’s not really used. So it’s really understanding the market, segment the market, and don’t assume it’s all the same seems it’s getting to that really in depth level of understanding to know who are your customers and are they going to use it and I think was it Lindsay just commented don’t rely on the end of one which can be a really big mistake because it may lead you down the garden path.
Josephine Dixon-Hardy: That’s really brilliant. Thank you for closing the questions in that way Patrick. I think we’ve had some fantastic insights and I hope that people listening will appreciate how these perspectives and insights have been really at the heart of reviewing and considering funding applications that come in and trying to give feedback to people that help to improve those outcomes for them, and that actually even if a funding proposal isn’t successful in the first stage, hopefully feedback and input you get from experts like who have been here today will really help you build a better case for the future, revise those opportunities.
I’d like to thank everyone on the panel for joining us today for giving us your insights and really valuable feedback to the audience today.