Innovative Leicestershire – A Life Sciences Success Story

Innovative Leicestershire

A Charnwood Campus Cluster event in partnership with Medilink Midlands, part of a series of events to celebrate the achievements and support the growth of the life science organisations clustered around Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park.

Local companies, Council leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and stakeholders gathered at Charnwood Campus to celebrate the Leicestershire Life Sciences cluster and its unbeatable entrepreneurial spirit.  The life sciences sector in the region is growing apace, which has led to the creation of 3,700 jobs in the sector since 2010, brings £900M of GVA per annum and contributes hugely to the success of the UK in the fields of medical and clinical research, innovation, Health data, AI, and digital health. The audience heard how the Midlands Engine, Charnwood Borough Innovate UK, Health Innovation East Midlands, Medilink Midlands and Charnwood Campus are supporting the acceleration of this sector.

Our region benefits hugely from strong collaborations between academia, NHS trusts, and companies and it was wonderful hear how some of these world leading projects have advanced human health and care. Many of the projects being celebrated have brought a true step change in human health and care such as the world’s first non-invasive glucose monitor developed by Nemaura Medical, Spirit Health’s multi-award winning Clinitouch, which connects patients and clinicians through virtual wards, vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now saving the NHS £1,047 per patient with a 67.5% reduction in unscheduled hospital visits, and The Renfrew Group’s design work in collaboration with Universities of Leicester and Oxford to develop a novel way of measuring biomarkers of disease in exhaled breath.

One theme that was very evident throughout the days presentations was the strength of the Innovation system within Leicestershire, and how our ecosystem of companies collaborates and help one another, with Katie Michaels Moti Me innovation journey being a fabulous example of this. Katie was recently accepted onto the UKRI Founders Factory children’s development bootcamp, funded by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council, to develop her system to help children with developmental delay disabilities practising their physiotherapy exercises – read more on Moti Me here.

Gosia Khrais, Commercial and Marketing Director, Charnwood Campus commented: “The life sciences sector is getting stronger every year with a continuous formation of a number of successful partnerships, that proved their value during the pandemic, which are accelerating innovation, commercialisation of products and services. With the development of life sciences innovation clusters, such as Charnwood Campus Science, Innovation and Technology Park, the formation of the Leicester Precision Medicine Institute, the Leicester Life Sciences Translational Research Partnership, and recent funding for Kindeva Drug Delivery from the Life Science Innovative Manufacturing Fund for the development of green inhalers,  Leicestershire is the next ‘to watch’ location within the UK that is strongly betting on knowledge economy, science, innovation and spring boarding entrepreneurs”.

Melanie Davidson, Chief Executive Officer, Medilink Midlands said: ““It was a pleasure to host such an inspiring event that revealed Leicestershire’s strong UK position within Life Sciences, and proudly labelled as ‘One to Watch’. Events like today are crucial, to facilitate discussions and knowledge sharing across the sectors extensive eco-system that can be used to better place Leicestershire and the wider Midlands future position. Medilink Midlands longstanding relationship with Charnwood Campus, and key partners such as the Midlands Engine strengthens our collective voice of industry, and maximises new opportunities for academia, industry, and NHS across the sector.”

Prof Dean Fathers, Chair of the Midlands Engine Health, Care and Life Science Board; said The Midlands Engine is a cross sector collaborative partnership of organisations working to develop and enhance the shared prosperity of the region. We want to drive sustainable and inclusive growth, creating a healthy community as well as a healthy economy, this is why celebrating our success and partnership is so important.”

Paul Bennett, Innovate UK said: “In the last 5 years Innovate UK funding has awarded £24 million of funding to support 106 businesses in the East midland region to develop Innovative solutions for the aging population as well as Health and Nutrition. It is wonderful to come and celebrate this success and work together to support UK business innovation.”

Dr Arash Ghadar, Chief Operating Officer, Nemaura Medical Inc. said: “Nemaura Medical with its unique non-invasive glucose monitoring technology is targeting diabetes, a chronic condition that a significant proportion of the world’s population is experiencing and dealing with its long-term health complications. From the outset we have taken a multi-faceted approach to innovation from technology to delivery programmes and materialising business opportunities. Nemaura built the business on the foundation of a long-term vision to create a comprehensive technology-based platform, having patient satisfaction and comfort at its heart. We have benefitted from local and global partnerships and the available support, to deliver an innovate solution that addresses diabetes management, with a particular focus on prevention. We strongly believe the healthcare of future should have the Prevention at the centre of its strategy and take advantage of the innovative technological and management tools to make it happen.”

Nadine Miles, Director of Service Delivery, Spirit Healthcare added “As a business that’s grown up in the East Midlands, and is now spreading our wings internationally, we are ever grateful for the support from organisations such as Medilink and Innovate Edge for their targeted support. Getting together with other local SMEs and like-minded business innovators has been a really valuable network for us – sparking ideas off each other, celebrating successes (and lessons learned) helps us target and tailor what we do.”

Mike Phillips, Design Development Director, Renfrew Group International said: “People don’t want Technology – they want what technology does for them. Our collaborations to develop breath diagnostics with Universities of Leicester and Oxford, – (EMBER, Bioxhale), (Oxford Medical Diagnostics) is life changing for the patient as these projects will allow rapid point of care diagnosis, for several life-threatening diseases, something that it currently not available.

Alison Mlot Commercial Manager, Health Innovation Midlands (formally known as East Midlands Academic Health Science Network) commented “We continue to see great health innovations coming out of Leicestershire and some that we didn’t have time to discuss today and are incredibly proud of are, ChatHealth, a secure text messaging service, and contribution to national programmes having attracted NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities programme (InHIP) funding to improve attendance rates and experience within cardiovascular outpatient clinics for the South Asian population of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland”.

Dr Lucy Alexander, Head of Business Development, Charnwood Campus, said: “To hear and celebrate our cluster’s achievements has been a real pleasure, the life sciences innovation in Leicestershire is a real success story.  If you have an innovation project that needs turbo charging and you would like to join our next Innovation Surgery or if you are interested in joining our cluster at the campus, more details can be found on our website Charnwood Campus UK Science Park.”

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