Health Enterprise East was awarded a £1m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver the MedTech NAVIGATOR programme in 2019. Now in its second year, the MedTech NAVIGATOR aims to identify clinical or organisational areas of unmet need in healthcare and provide a platform for medical technology SMEs to respond to those needs by developing innovative new products and services.
The programme has a thematic approach, based on an analysis of unmet needs in the NHS and provides an opportunity for medical technology companies to gain real knowledge and insight into the customer needs during the product development process.
The MedTech NAVIGATOR consists of a number of components including:
- Identification of unmet needs - unmet needs drive innovation. Health Enterprise East’s unique position between the NHS and Industry enables us to work with national policy initiatives, as well as our extensive NHS member network, to identify high-level gaps and opportunities for transforming care pathways through technology-enabled, innovative solutions.
- Themed Workshops - a series of free, interactive events, white papers providing economic and care pathway insights and market opportunity overviews to facilitate knowledge exchange and new collaborative research and development opportunities between clinical, academic and industry partners.
- MedTech Connect portal - designed to make it easier to identify clinical and research collaborators. Expert clinical opinion is vital to the medical technology industry to address unmet clinical needs and to ensure new products are ‘fit for purpose’ within the NHS. Whilst recognised as being central to the product development process, medical technology companies often struggle to identify relevant stakeholders in an efficient and timely manner. The MedTech CONNECT collaboration portal identifies relevant clinicians and innovative companies, and facilitates collaboration between them.
- Innovation Grants - each worth £7,500 to SMEs looking to collaborate with eligible knowledge providers. Businesses can apply for Grants to help develop, or test, new or improved products and services, access information on care pathways and workflows or tap into clinical and scientific expertise to help guide product development.
In addition, UK based SMEs can access 12 hours of free structured support to assist them in managing their IP, understanding the health economics of their product or seeking further funding and investment