As we approach the festive period, most of us are preparing for a well-deserved rest with family and friends. For us, it’s also a good time to take stock of the year gone by, getting ready to start fresh initiatives for the New Year.
This year saw Grow MedTech achieve numerous – sometimes unexpected – milestones. COVID19 presented our programmes – as it did with most businesses – with numerous challenges, that thanks to our adaptive team and community, we have continued to deliver against targets successfully and support the fight against the virus.
Our innovation development programme, Translate MedTech, successfully moved entirely online from March, running 4 courses (plus 2 in person pre-COVID), brokering 6 secondments and supporting two hackathons virtually through Zoom and other digital platforms.
Grow MedTech has continued to run medtech translation funding calls, and our team of Technology Innovation Managers have supported projects whilst working from home. Since the launch of the programme, we have supported 231 total projects, 98 of which are funded by us. The commitment from research staff to maintain their projects has not gone unnoticed and this year has testified the persistence of our innovation community.
Bringing together new collaborations between academia, business and NHS partners will always be at the heart of what we do. We are proud to have brought together 159 new collaborations in total, and this has of course challenged us more under the circumstances of last year. We hosted an in-person MSK workshop in February, and later successfully moved our workshops online to deliver our AIMday (Academic Industry Meeting day) in diagnostics event, both in partnership with NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative, and Translate.
Being shortlisted for a Collaborate to Innovate Award from The Engineer was an encouraging way to end the year and we’re looking forward to the special Collaborate To Innovate Week, hosted on The Engineer’s website in February, for the winners’ announcements.
Finally, we are excited for the re-opening of the Thackray Medical Museum, when restrictions allow. In the first collaboration of its kind for Grow MedTech, the coming months will see the Thackray Medical Museum showcase six Grow MedTech projects in Future Space, part of a £4 million redevelopment project for the museum.
We are now just weeks away from 2021 and the team are excited about what the coming year has in store.
On behalf of Jo, Danielle and all of the team, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and collaborators for their continuous support and we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy 2021.