West Yorkshire has been awarded £7.5 million in funding to support local business growth in the HealthTech sector thanks to a partnership between Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin and Innovate UK.
West Yorkshire fought off competition from nearly 40 other areas to secure the £7.5 million of new investment — hailed as a “gamechanger” for the region’s £5 billion Health Technology (HealthTech) sector.
Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber is one of several companies that supported the funding bid and worked alongside partner organisations, for the benefit of the region, including: West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds, as well as industry partners Medilink North of England, Medipex, and the Association of British Healthtech Industries.
The West Yorkshire Innovation Hub has been a key partner in developing the bid for the launchpad programme. The Hub provided an opportunity for West Yorkshire Health and Care partnership to be represented in the bid process and strengthened collaboration between the combined authority and the Integrated Care Board (ICB).
The Hub is proud of being part of the bid that leveraged this into our region, and as companies will be able to bid for funding of up to £1 million, the launchpad programme will also further support our ambition of inclusive economic growth. The funding will be distributed to businesses which can demonstrate that they will have a positive impact on patient care through an innovative new medical, diagnostic or digital health solution.
From the end of October, small and medium-sized businesses can apply for grants ranging from £25,000 to £1 million to help develop lifechanging medical innovations for use in the NHS and across the world. The £7.5 million launchpad programme will help them develop the innovations all the way from the lab through to clinical trials and on to global health markets.
The new multi-million partnership between the Mayor and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), comes days after £5 million was announced by UKRI for the medical technology sector across Yorkshire, which employs over 16,000 people across 250 companies.
Neville Young, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber said:
“We’re proud to work with our partners across the region to secure funding for important programmes such as this.
“The investment will further catalyse our thriving SMEs community across the whole of West Yorkshire and is a testament to the potential that our region possesses in making the most out of HealthTech.
“It will undoubtedly serve as a driving force for innovation in population health and economic growth across West Yorkshire.”
Home to the headquarters of NHS England and some of the strongest academic and clinical research facilities in the country, West Yorkshire is an incubator for many leading HealthTech companies.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:
“This groundbreaking new partnership is a major vote of confidence in the future of our brilliant healthtech businesses, who are transforming the lives of patients world-wide.
“That we were able to secure this funding is a testament to the strength of our sector, the talent of our homegrown scientists, and our ambition to transform the NHS through innovation.
“I’m confident these grants of up to £1 million will be a gamechanger for local businesses, helping them create skilled jobs, pioneer new technologies and level up patient care.”
After businesses submit bids for funding, these will be reviewed by Innovate UK by February 2024, with new projects expected to start in May 2024.
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, said:
“Innovate UK has been building strong regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation.
“Today’s launch of the West Yorkshire healthtech launchpad is an important step and another example of active collaboration with regional partners to deliver growth and productivity through innovation.”