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£1.5m Boost for Health Tech Programme

It was announced today, 15th November 2007,  at the Festival of Innovation, that Health Tech, the programme which helps West Midlands SMEs to innovate new medical & healthcare products and diversify into the healthcare sector, has received a £1.5m injection to expand and extend its work through to the end of 2008.

The Health Tech programme is run by WMG at the University of Warwick and is supported by a European Regional Development Fund grant through the Government Office for the West Midlands to enable it to provide 5 days of free assistance to its client SMEs in geographic areas of greatest need for development.

Colin Davis, Head of Health Tech, said: "The healthcare sector can be very rewarding for companies both from a social responsibility standpoint and from the financial perspective, particularly in an environment that offers comparative stability and good growth prospects. However, there are barriers to entry and issues to address in product development that are peculiar to the sector which is why the Health Tech programme was set up with its broad based team able to help with multiple facets including strategies, marketing, innovation, diversification, manufacturing, logistics, certification, software and many more."

The programme has been operational since 2003 and has worked with over 80 SMEs in the West Midlands to address the many opportunities for companies and has already achieved considerable success. A comment from David Morgan of Safe Surgery Systems is typical: "HealthTech provided: Reality check; Patent advice; Helped obtain a start up grant; Advised us on marketing and networking - which resulted in 9 employees and 3 products in 6/12 months – Enough said!"

Colin Davis added: "WMG is good at recognising trends and change in technology-based market places and is ideally placed, with its strong research capability and reputation for excellence with industry, to support companies in analysing innovation and diversification opportunities and helping with pathways to the creation of successful businesses from them.

This boost to our funding is testimony to our success but we must recognise all the support from the many partners and organisations that we work with and that have helped us to achieve that success. In particular, for example, we have been doing an increasing amount of work with MidTECH - the NHS Innovations Hub for the West Midlands which helps NHS employees and Trusts to commercialise new ideas for healthcare in the NHS and which often provide good opportunities for SME partners."

If you are a West Midlands based SME or start-up and would like to know how Health Tech could help you, and whether you are eligible for grant support, just send an e-mail with contact details for you and your company including your address and post code to Colin.Davis@warwick.ac.uk

WMG, an academic department of the University of Warwick, is a provider of innovative solutions to industry, supporting some of the most advanced research, development and training projects in the world.

Project part-financed by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund.

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