Bucks works to develop medical technologies for the healthcare sector

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Date: 9th Jul 2019

Buckinghamshire New University is inviting applications among its staff and students for a third cohort in a three-year £5 million programme, led by Imperial College London, to translate medical technology discoveries in to clinical practice and use.

Applications close on Sunday 21 July for the third cohort of the MedTech SuperConnector programme, which supports early career researchers and PhD students to turn ideas in to reality to benefit patients with diagnostic tools, medical devices and digital healthcare solutions.

It is part of £67 million invested by Research England, under its Connecting Capability Fund (CCF), in 14 collaborative projects between universities and partners to drive forward world-class university commercialisation across the country.

Pep StonorGreta Paa-Kerner Head of Business Engagement, said: “Bucks New University is proud to be part of this ambitious programme as it positions the UK as a leader in MedTech development while setting a new standard for accelerating medical technologies to market. We hope to see benefits across the UK and the world.”

The third cohort would be supported over eight months to develop innovations in healthcare technologies. Applications are invited from early career researchers, postdoctoral students, PhD candidates and academics who works at the University and who want to progress their ideas towards commercialisation. Find out more, and how to apply, here.

Bucks New University currently has an academic and a student working on two separate projects in the second cohort, which is focused on making an impact in mental health, wellbeing and happiness.

MSc Applied Positive Psychology student Pep Stonor is working with working with Dr Kate Gee, of the Royal College of Music and Imperial Medical School, on ‘UniversityMe’, an app to support students to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Pep Stonor and Dr Kate GeePep said: “We believe that a technological solution through linked social platforms, online space, and an app, which supports students’ understanding, organisation, and positive engagement with their mental health and wellbeing in preparation for university will offer a unique and significant support to their mental health and will prevent more serious problems developing.

“We are looking to creating an online community, social media pages, and website, with the aim of working towards an app platform. We are seeking support in envisaging a pathway through this, and in making this a reality.”

Margaret Rioga, Associate Head of School of Nursing and Allied Health, is working with Katerina Shatalina, of Imperial College London, on ‘WellBrowsing’, an online mental fitness tracker designed to reduce negative impacts of using the Internet and improve online behaviours.

The MedTech SuperConnector programme consists of eight higher education institutions who work together to accelerate medtech innovations and share best practices.

The delivery partners include Bucks New University, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, the Francis Crick Institute, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, The Institute of Cancer Research, and Royal Veterinary College.

It provides participants with funding, training, mentorship, and access to industry partners and patients to ‘fast track’ their research work in to new medical technologies. Participants also receive business coaching and advice from experts in the Medtech Venture Mentoring Programme (MVMP).

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Provost (Research and Enterprise) at Imperial College London, said: “The MedTech SuperConnerctor will create a critical mass of brilliants minds, working across institutions to develop new technologies, tools and digital solutions to healthcare challenges. This project sees us working with many new academic and industrial partners. Together we will build enduring value in medical technologies.”

David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “These projects demonstrate the commitment of universities to work together to strengthen the research and development and technological capabilities of the UK.

“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 these projects to show that they can do world class commercialisation, alongside world-class science.

“I believe these projects present important innovations that should inform our strategic approach to commercialisation in UK research and innovation for the future.”

Picture captions: Pep Stonor presenting her plans at an ideas 'hackathon'.

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