£41 million in funding up for grabs for Northern Irish medtech companies

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  • The UK government has announced a new funding programme to help foster innovation in the medical sector, including a total of £41 million that will be made available to medtech companies across the UK, including Northern Ireland.

    The new programme is designed to help both startups and more established technology companies develop and test new technologies within the NHS, and will also provide funding to NHS organisations to help them integrate these technological innovations into their everyday operations. 

    The UK’s Health Minister, Lord O’Shaughnessy, explained the government’s motivation for the new funding programme: “The government’s ambition is that NHS patients get world-leading, life-changing treatments as fast as possible.

    “That can’t happen unless we support medical innovation and tear down the barriers – like speed to market and access to funding – that can get in the way, especially for SMEs.” 

    With this is mind, up to £6 million in funding will be earmarked to help SMEs that are developing innovative medical devices or cutting-edge new medicines get the evidence they need by testing their solutions in the real world.

    A further £35 million will be made available to tech companies that are developing digital technologies for use by patients and the NHS, which will be provided in the form of match-funding through the government’s Digital Health Technology Catalyst.

    Ben Moody, Head of Health and Social Care at techUK, explained: “The UK is a world leader in health tech but we must not be complacent. The Digital Health Technology Catalyst will be a great boost for innovators in the sector.

    “The announcement also recognises that the resources needed to generate evidence to show that a technology is worth reimbursing can be prohibitively difficult for SMEs - so the fund to support evidence generation for innovative devices is particularly welcome.” 

    The new funding programme is the first step in implementing the Accelerated Access Review, an independently chaired review that made a series of recommendations on how the government can speed up patient access to new and emerging technologies.

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