The project, which is in partnership with other institutions such as Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Clinical Research Network Wessex, aims to provide SMEs in the healthcare sector with the funding to bring them together with patient groups, clinicians, and academics.
Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies - also known as Sight - will help companies be more aware of the challenges they could face bringing products to market in this sector and find ways these can be successfully overcome.
It also aims to enhance the competitiveness of business in the healthcare sector.
It will support businesses to engage through the Portsmouth technologies trials unit, which is a joint initiative between Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Portsmouth that provides specialist expertise in healthcare technologies.
Melloney Poole, chairwoman of the trust said: ‘I am absolutely delighted. We are so proud and we have such a great award winning research team. To be able to make that available to so many SMEs is fantastic. This is a great event and I’m really pleased to be here.’
The £1.7m fund is partly-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which was granted in June 2019.
Businesses who receive funding will be given support through workshops and surgeries.
Professor Gordon Blunn, director of Health and Wellbeing at the university said: ‘Sight is a win-win. SMEs will receive bespoke and agile support to increase their competitiveness, access new markets and develop products. It will help them avoid the so called “valley of death” many of these companies face between innovation and getting a medical technology product to market. As a result, patients and the public will benefit from faster access to new products and services that meet their healthcare needs.’
SIGHT is one of several projects jointly funded by ERDF and the University of Portsmouth
contributing to its commitment to supporting the development of the region.