Staffordshire University diversifies through innovation
?We achieve products on the market, create jobs and transform traditional industries through our multidisciplinary and market-facing approach to medical innovation?.
Sandra Booth, Director of Enterprise and Commercial Development Staffordshire University
At the industrial heart of the country the West Midlands is solidly grounded in engineering, metal work and manufacturing. This knowledge base has readily transferred to medical and healthcare sectors supported by research and knowledge transfer capability in the region?s universities, especially Staffordshire University with its culture of ?creating a difference? and partnering to create viable commercial opportunities from its R&D streams. The West Midlands is setting its sights on the future of Medical Technologies and regenerating itself from a reliance on traditional industry through knowledge exchange and inward investment in cluster development with over 1,000 organisations now operating in purpose-built facilities and laboratories and linked technology and manufacturing corridors. Staffordshire University has demonstrated through spin outs, reduced time to commercialise and collaborations with industry how to achieve diversification into the rising medical technologies sector.
Staffordshire University is a major partner to companies in diversification and innovation with programmes supporting commercial opportunity appraisal, proof of concept and product development supporting the practical steps needed from concept through design and manufacture to sales and return on investment. Staffordshire University has been utilising academic expertise to develop a community of exchange with industry and healthcare professionals seeking to access innovation expertise to address global medical engineering opportunities and challenges. Two examples of this are the Clinical Biomechanics Research Group and Medical Engineering Group.
The Biomechanics Team is currently working with 20 West Midlands-based SMEs in the areas of design and development of products related to human movement and performance. Existing members of staff and visiting professors and fellows are involved in research in clinical biometrics and medical technology.
A recent initiative is the development of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Salts Healthcare Ltd, aimed at a quantitative assessment of an existing range of footwear to inform the development of a future product range and influence patient care. www.staffs.ac.uk/faculties/health/ Staffordshire University?s Medical Engineering group in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology is driven by industry requirements and challengeled applied research achieving a 4* rating in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, demonstrating excellence at an international level. In order to fully exploit their research, a spin-out company was formed in 2005 ? by an orthopaedic surgeon and two engineers working in fracture healing research at Staffordshire University, The University Hospital of North Staffordshire and Keele University.
Intelligent Orthopaedics specialises in intelligent fracture management orthopaedic devices. Their first product STORM is currently available in the EU, USA and Australia, winning the Lord Stafford Award for Achievement in Innovation. Intelligent Orthopaedics? progress has also been used to inform a new masters degree in Medical Engineering within Staffordshire University. www.intelligent-orthopaedics.co.uk
Medical Interchange is a unique innovation network of UK universities originating from the HEFCE Knowledge Exchange programme aiming to establish the West Midlands as an international centre of excellence for applied research healthcare and medical technologies. This collaboration provides a platform to partner with medical device companies and healthcare organisations to develop and broker high-quality, marketfacing research, development and innovation projects in medical and healthcare technologies with its member universities to deliver high-quality industrial collaborations, diversification strategies and knowledgebased economic development.
Medical Interchange has created significant interest with MEDILINK, UKTI, EPSRC, MRC and at a European level. It has established a presence in UK national expositions and enabled its members to have a low cost presence at international events such as MEDICA. The Medical Interchange will be exhibiting at MEDICA Dusserdolf 18-21 November 2009.
Contact: Colin Davis
Enterprise and Commercial Development
Blackheath Lane, Stafford ST18 0AD
Tel: 0800 169 2148
Added the 06 October 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-2