1. Full 2019 funding call calendar announced

    The full calendar of Grow MedTech funding calls running throughout 2019 is now live.

    Alongside the monthly recurring Proof of Market (£5k) call, medtech innovators in the Leeds and Sheffield City Region have two additional opportunities to secure up to £20K for Proof of Feasibility, and one opportunity to secure up to £80k for Proof of Concept before 2020.

    See the full calendar below:

    Proof of Market (£5K)

    With no hard deadlines for Proof of Market applications, forms are reviewed monthly and should be submitted by the 15th of the month for review in that month’s review meeting.

    Application deadline wave #4 5pm 15 April 2019
    Application deadline wave #5 5pm 15 May 2019
    Application deadline wave #6 5pm 15 June 2019
    Application deadline wave #7 5pm 15 July 2019
    Application deadline wave #8 5pm 15 August 2019
    Application deadline wave #9 5pm 15 September 2019
    Application deadline wave #10 5pm 15 October 2019
    Application deadline wave #11 5pm 15 November 2019
    Application deadline wave #12 5pm 15 December 2019

    Proof of Feasibility (£20K)


    Application deadline wave #3 5pm 18 April 2019
    Application deadline wave #4 5pm 5 July 2019
    Application deadline wave #5 5pm 9 October 2019
    Application deadline wave #6 5pm 10 January 2020

    Proof of Concept (£80K)


    Call 2 Opens 9am 5 April 2019
    Call 2 Expression of Interest deadline 5pm 3 June 2019

    To stay up to date with information on funding, events and support available for medtech innovators in the region, sign up to our mailing list here.

    About the funding

    All three calls have been developed with the aim of accelerating and enhancing innovation in all sectors of medical technologies and medical devices with significant commercial potential and patient benefit.

    Through our funding competition and regional networks, we support the development of medical technologies that are better aligned to patient needs” says Danielle Miles, a Technology Innovation Manager for Grow MedTech.

     “Involving people living with conditions throughout the innovation process not only maximises end-user benefit, but it validates the commercial potential of new technologies in a way that attracts future investors”.

    To learn more about eligibility, the application process, assessment criteria and guidelines for any of the three funding calls visit Grow your idea page.

  2. Deadline extended for Proof of Concept funding applications

    The deadline for Stage 1 Proof of Concept Expressions of Interest (EOI) submissions has now been extended, with completed EOI forms to be emailed to info@growmed.tech by 5pm 28 February 2019.

    Our Proof of Concept funding supports projects in demonstrating full technical and commercial feasibility through co-development with end users.

    Applications are invited from academic led teams who are based at one of the six Grow MedTech partner universities. The Proof of Concept awards provide funding of up to £80,000 to projects which fit with the award scope.

    This funding should be used to advance technologies through proof of concept stage towards commercialisation to build confidence for further investment.
    All applications must be co-developed with a Grow MedTech Technology Innovation Manager (TIM).

    To learn more about each of our different TIMs, where they’re based and how their professional experience and network can support your project; view their profiles on our key contacts webpage.

    You can learn more about the award eligibility, application process, assessment criteria and deadlines for the Proof of Concept funding call on our Proof of Concept webpage.

  3. We are hiring: Business Development Executive (Health & Digital Medical Technologies)

    We are recruiting a Business Development Executive to join our Business Development Team at Leeds Beckett University.  This role will focus on support of the Grow MedTech partnership which is a collaborative initiative involving 6 Yorkshire Universities and has been created to enhance productivity and economic growth in the UK medtech sector, addressing the evolving health needs of the population.

    Candidates should have experience in supporting the commercial development of collaborative project development preferably in either a clinical bioscience or digital setting. A working knowledge of IP protection and exploitation and a demonstrable ability to support in coordinating collaborative project development and funding applications are also required.  A clear record of successful project management and delivery in collaborative programmes is essential.

    In this exciting new role, based at Leeds Beckett University, you will work closely with academics, the NHS, medical technology companies and the team of Technology Innovation Managers across a wide university partnership to assist new opportunities to progress to the commercial market.

    Opportunities are expected to arise from the areas of key medical technology which include implantable devices, imaging and diagnostics, rehabilitation and assistive technology, surgical and medical equipment, wound-care and infection control, digital health, ICT and E-health and evaluative and enabling technologies.

    The post will be positioned within the Business Development Team within the Research & Enterprise Service.

    Closing date: 3 December 2018 (Midnight)

    Interviews will take place in early January 2019.

    To arrange an informal discussion about this post, please contact Dr Julian Sorrell at j.a.sorrell@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

    Find out more

  4. Grow MedTech keynote speaker announcement

    The Grow MedTech launch event will be headlined by Dr Victoria Betton, founder of mHabitat who will join us in Leeds to present her talk ‘Human-Centred Design and Digital Convergence’.

    Dr Victoria Betton and mHabitat

    Dr Victoria Betton is an accomplished academic, entrepreneur, author and owner of Bibi the Pets as Therapy dog.

    Dr Betton undertook her PhD studying mental health and online social networks at the Institute of Communications Studies in the University of Leeds. Her research explored the relationship between institutions such as mainstream media and healthcare with mental health stigma and discrimination.

    During her PhD Dr Betton founded mHabitat, initially as a small project to scope the value of digital technologies across two NHS Trusts in Leeds.

    The scope of mHabitat’s goals quickly expanded to bringing patients, citizens and practitioners together with digital innovators, health tech companies and academia to design, develop, deploy and evaluate digital tools that really make a difference.

    Since mHabitat’s founding in 2014, they have gone on to foster many highly successful collaborations between digital innovators, charities, NHS and government bodies throughout the UK.

    Dr Betton is regularly invited to speak and inspire audiences fascinated with healthtech, technology innovation and the links between digital technology and mental health. As such, her insights into motivating collaboration in the context of user centered design are set to inspire our audience in the potential of digital convergence opportunities.

    To register your place at the launch event, please visit the event webpage.

  5. Grow MedTech call: Apply for up to £80k funding

    De-risking and converging medical technologies call

    Businesses, researchers and clinicians working in fields linked to medical technologies are invited to apply for proof-of-market, proof-of-feasibility and proof-of-concept funding.

    Grow MedTech is a new program that supports medical technology innovation in the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions and looks to fund projects that advance the development and de-risking of technologies in order to make them more attractive for further investment.

    These three calls have been developed with the aim of accelerating and enhancing innovation in all sectors of medical technologies and medical devices with significant commercial potential and patient benefit.

    Tangible links with industry and the clinical or healthcare sector are encouraged: “Our funding competition gives companies an opportunity to collaborate with academia and access world-class expertise,” says Danielle Miles, a Technology Innovation Manager for Grow MedTech.

    It also allows academics to translate their research into significant clinical impact by leveraging industry connections. We’re urging companies to get in touch if they’re interested in the potential of medtech.

    To learn more about the application process, assessment criteria and deadlines for any of the three funding calls visit Grow your idea page.

  6. Share your news with the Grow MedTech community

    Our mission is to nurture a vibrant regional, medtech community, connected by our programme of events and communications.

    We’re encouraging our community members to submit posts about their work or information about upcoming events that may be of interest to the wider medtech community, for feature in The Bulletin.

    We endeavour to make Grow MedTech a platform that medtech innovators can use to raise their profile and support our goal of helping our community be part of the exciting future of medtech in the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions.

    Additional benefits of submitting content to us include;

    • Reaching the medtech community: Posts will reach a focused audience of medtech innovators across industry, academia and healthcare;
    • Extending that reach further: Engaging posts have the chance to be featured in our quarterly Grow MedTech newsletter, emailed directly to more than 750 innovators in our mailing list;
    • We do the heavy lifting: We take care of the formatting and design of the content that’s posted.

    If you are interested in sharing any news to The Bulletin, download and complete our news and events content template and return it to info@growmed.tech.

    Ater we’ve received your item, we’ll be in touch.

    Download the content template

  7. Apply for funding: Colorectal, HPB and vascular surgery ideas and solutions

    Businesses, researchers and clinicians working in colorectal, hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) and vascular surgery are invited to apply for pump-prime or clinical session funding of up to £10,000.

    Funding is available to support the development of new concepts, demonstration of proof of principle, to accelerate translation of research to the clinic, and devise new research protocols – for new medical devices, healthcare technologies or technology-dependent interventions for surgical technologies.

    The funding is being offered by The NIHR Surgical MedTech Cooperative in collaboration with Grow MedTech.

    The funding competition is split into two parts: a strategic call that is focused on future unmet needs and a reactive call offering incubator packages that is focused on the immediate needs in surgery.



    • All applicants must be UK based
    • All applications must have a clinical collaborator
    • Industry-led applications must include matched funding which can be financial or in-kind support
    • Successful applicants will work in conjunction with the NIHR Surgical MIC and its extensive network in order to successfully prototype and/or validate their idea(s) (i.e. show proof of concept/principle)


    Convergence of technologies 

    • Up to £10K funding
    • Industry and/or academic-led applications
    • To develop ideas and solutions in:
      • medical devices and information technology
      • artificial intelligence applied to medical devices
      • combining medical imaging with robotics
      • digital health
      • smart drug delivery devices

    The future of surgery

    • Up to £10K funding
    • Clinically-led applications
    • To develop ideas and solutions in:
      • patients and their choice of treatment
      • the training and role of future surgeons
      • the development of new non-surgical interventions
      • the emergence of new care models
      • patient safety and clinical outcomes
      • the role of digital pathology in surgery

    Key dates:

    Closes midnight, Friday 29 June 2018.



    • All applicants must be UK based – academic institutions, NHS Trusts, third sector organisations and industry
    • Applications must have be translational or have clearly planned translational aspects in the near or long term
    • projects should have the potential to develop into a more substantial project that can apply for external funding


    • seed funding call
    • up to £5K
    • for the early development of novel technology-based solutions applicable to colorectal, HPB and/or vascular surgery (including wound care)

    Key dates:

    There are four opportunities to submit your proposal:

    Submission deadline Reviewing date
    5pm Friday 1 June 2018 Friday 8 June 2018
    5pm Friday 20 July 2018 Friday 27 July 2018
    5pm Tuesday 11 September 2018 Tuesday 18 September 2018
    5pm Friday 2 November 2018 Friday 9 November 2018


    Projects must use allocated support by 31 March 2019.



  8. £10m plan to take Yorkshire’s medical technologies expertise to the world

    Solving the challenges which hamper Yorkshire’s medical technology experts when they attempt to bring innovative products to market is the focus of a new partnership which aims to make inventions more attractive to investors.

    The Grow MedTech partnership, backed by almost £10m of funding, will build on the distinctive cluster of medical technologies expertise in the Leeds and Sheffield city regions. It will address issues that can block the process of commercialising products and bringing them from conception to clinical use.

    Six northern universities are among more than 20 partners in the three year project, which is led by the University of Leeds. Other supporters include the local enterprise partnerships serving both city regions, National Institute of Health Research organisations, councils and chambers of commerce.

    Financial backing for technology

    By supporting and financially backing researchers and developers to take new products through the early stages of commercial development, the partnership expects to bring around 20 potentially life-enhancing devices into everyday use during the next three years.

    This will include taking the business risk out of early stage projects and providing proof of commercial concept funding, giving investors and businesses confidence that they have a realistic chance of success. It will also support clinical evaluation to secure regulatory approval, essential for them to be commercialised.

    Support throughout the development of devices and products will enable universities to commercialise more medtech intellectual property and work more effectively with businesses and investors. Together they will be better able to progress opportunities which will increase the competitiveness of UK medtech on the global stage.

    Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Director of Medical Technologies Innovation at the University of Leeds is leading the delivery of the programme the partnership. She said: “We are bringing the best minds in engineering, biological development, design and manufacture together with industry to drive products into everyday use to improve the quality of life for people across the world.

    “Our region already has an acknowledged reputation as a leader in this field – we plan to consolidate and extend that and provide the underpinning support needed to take new inventions through the important regulatory and testing processes needed to get them to market.”

    Future trends

    Previous research has identified that the most significant trend in future health care product innovation is the combination of different technologies. The partnership will pay special attention to supporting this area of growth.

    Examples of technological convergence include connecting robotics and medical imaging systems to automate surgical procedures, and digital health and smart drug delivery services.

    Professor John Fisher, Director of the EPSRC Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre at the University of Leeds, is the project’s academic leader.

    He said: “The rate of change associated with technology convergence at the moment is unprecedented, and the UK medtech sector needs to transform to exploit this opportunity.
    “We aim to lead this change in the UK, recognising the need for greater collaboration between researchers, industry and the wider healthcare sector, and the growing value of multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills across the med-tech sector. The programme will deliver growth in the economy and benefits to the health and care services”.

    Better understanding

    On a practical level, the partnership’s approach will involve:
    • Working with companies to better understand technology development and innovation needs.
    • Encouraging collaboration between clinicians, patients, and the NHS.
    • Identifying challenges and priorities for the sector.
    • Strategically matching researchers and companies to create combined technologies which are primed for development.

    Dr Dixon-Hardy added: “Ultimately, Grow MedTech will result in faster deployment and wider adoption of new technologies to bring about better patient care and safer more effective and more efficient health and care services.”

    The Grow MedTech programme is intended to bring together the extensive resources in the two city regions to stimulate a more dynamic medtech cluster. This will help position UK companies to address forecast medtech market growth opportunities of £10-30bn per annum for UK industry in the next five years.

    Medilink Yorkshire and Humber is the membership based representative body dedicated to the growth of the health sector, and works closely with the Sheffield City Region. Today CEO Medilink North of England, Kevin Kiely, said: “Medilink acknowledges the need to significantly enhance connectivity and drive technology convergence, to fast track and de-risk product development and transformation healthcare delivery. The Leeds and Sheffield City Regions have a unique Med Tech asset base across its academic, clinical and industrial community, and Medilink North of England, as active partners in the Grow Med-Tech programme, will leverage its extensive health technology network and its unique relationship with the Med Tech industry to support the programme in achieving significant economic, clinical and social impact.”

    Grow MedTech is closely aligned with the recently published UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, which highlights the role of medical technologies as a driving force for the UK economy.

    It is part-funded by Research England, which has contributed just under £5million through the Connecting Capabilities Fund. The remainder of the funding is provided by the partner organisations.

    Grow MedTech is led by the University of Leeds, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Beckett University, the University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield and University of York, all of which have significant strengths in medical technologies research and development.

    David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “In the Industrial Strategy, the Government asked us to improve our ability to turn exciting ideas into commercial products and services. Universities have stepped forward in this project to show that they can do world class commercialisation, alongside world class science.”

    The project is a result of the Medical Technologies Science and Innovation Audit, led by the University of Leeds and published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in September 2017. It also supports the Office of Life Sciences Industry Strategy and the Med-tech Sector Deal, and the Inclusive Industry Strategy for the Leeds City Region.

    Grow MedTech will be supported through Nexus, the University of Leeds’ innovation and enterprise centre, which is due to open in September and will be the gateway for business to access academic expertise and facilities across the University.

    Notes for editors

    Leeds City Region leads the way in the translation of medical technologies research and hosts 250+ businesses specialising in medical technologies, complemented by 200+ digital and technology businesses in the health and social care space and supported by 22 per cent of all digital health jobs in the UK.

    Leeds City Region hosts some of the leading medical device manufacturing and digital health companies in the UK, including the global development and technology centre of DePuy Synthes, RSL Steeper, Brandon Medical, TPP and EMIS.

    Leeds City Region has a unique and influential wider health innovation ecosystem. It is home to four out of five NHS headquarters, 13 clinical commissioning groups and 12 NHS trusts, including one of the largest NHS Trusts in the country, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The University of Leeds hosts the following National Research Centres funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council: the centre for innovative manufacturing in medical devices, the Innovation and Knowledge Centre in Medical Technologies and the centre for doctoral training in innovation in medical Engineering

    These are complemented by manufacturing supply chain companies in the Sheffield City Region. Sheffield City Region has well-established complementary sectors in digital and advanced manufacturing, which it is effectively converging as digital advanced manufacturing. This convergence experience is an essential element of Grow MedTech.

    Sheffield City Region is also home to the NIHR D4D MedTech Co-operative, one of the NIHR’s original and most successful Healthcare Technology Co-operatives.

    Journalists with questions or interview requests should contact Peter Le Riche in the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 2049 or email p.leriche@leeds.ac.uk

    If you wish to receive updates on Grow MedTech sign up to the mailing list: https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/opt-in-grow-medtech