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Clinicians and researchers are invited to bid for infrastructure funding to support collaborations between the NHS and industry to lead to the development of medical devices and healthcare technologies

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will establish Healthcare Technology Co-operatives (HTCs) to address clinical areas or themes of high morbidity and unmet need for NHS patients. The aim is to produce new technologies that improve treatment and quality of life.

This new scheme builds on learning from a pilot scheme that funded two HTCs from 2008. Their innovations include a dignity bidet commode developed for stroke survivors which won an NHS Innovation Award in 2009, and the APPEAR and SMART surgical procedures and instrumentation for bowel surgery which was awarded the prestigious Cutlers’ Surgical Award in 2011.

Led by a clinical director, each NIHR HTC will involve multidisciplinary teams, working collaboratively with industry, patient groups, academic researchers and charities. HTCs will be expected to build networks with a broad range of stakeholders including the NIHR infrastructure and to work closely with the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI).

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health said:

The National Institute for Health Research Healthcare Technology Co-operatives competition announced today will help to identify clinical issues from a front line service perspective and devise technology-based solutions to address them.

“These centres of expertise will act as a catalyst for the development of much-needed new medical devices, healthcare technologies and/or technology-dependent interventions.”

The initiative also supports the Government’s Strategy for the Life Sciences which aims to provide a better environment for life sciences, improve the lives of patients and contribute to the UK’s economic growth, enabling patients to access novel treatments earlier.

NIHR HTCs will operate within the evolving NHS innovation landscape and the implementation of the NHS Chief Executive’s review: “Innovation Health and Wealth – accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS”. They will be expected to engage with the proposed Academic Health Science Networks and local showcase hospital programmes, where appropriate, as they develop.

The closing date for submission of the Pre-Qualifying Questionnaire by NHS Trusts in England is 19 April 2012 at 5pm.


Written by Scott Buckler
Friday, 27 January 2012 12:12

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