Innovative Companies Receive Major Funding To Help Improve Healthcare

16 Nov 2009

Richard Ellis and Keith Pearson
Richard Ellis and Keith Pearson

Eleven companies working on the development of innovative devices, products or services which will help to meet current healthcare priorities have been awarded funding worth up to £100,000 each.

The funding programme SBRI East, part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), was launched by NHS East of England, the East of England Development Agency, and the Technology Strategy Board in April 2009. It is being supported by Health Enterprise East (HEE), the region's Innovation Hub which is managing the competition on behalf of the funding partners. SBRI is also being part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

SBRI East invited companies to submit ideas that can be turned into practical solutions to make a substantial difference in three priority areas: managing long-term conditions, patient safety and keeping children active. All proposals had to demonstrate that they can contribute to achieving a low carbon environment.

The Initiative has received support at government level. Lord Mandelson, Business Secretary, said: "The National SBRI scheme has now been expanded to include other public sector bodies. For example, the East of England Strategic Health Authority and regional partners, have recently completed a competition with Technology Strategy Board backing calling for innovative new approaches to home treatment and long-term patient health.

"The level of interest is very high, with 11 SMEs awarded Phase 1 contracts. The proposed solutions were in many cases new and genuinely innovative. And all the more important in the current environment is that the potential savings to the NHS run into the hundreds of millions."

Companies being awarded up to £100,000 in Phase 1 have the potential to receive further financial assistance to develop and evaluate projects in Phase 2.

Keith Pearson, Chairman, NHS East of England said: "We have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of entries we have received, highlighting the highly innovative work that is happening all around us.

"It has been particularly gratifying to receive so many strong entries from small businesses in the east of England; the innovation vibrancy of this region is particularly impressive in these difficult times.

Trying to compose a shortlist was an incredibly difficult task for our panel of judges who eventually selected 11 to receive funding in Phase 1. Our congratulations to all of these companies; we look forward to seeing how their ideas develop over the coming year".

Paul May, director of innovation at EEDA said:

"We are delighted that this competition to improve healthcare through innovation has been so successful. It is the result of excellent collaboration between regional and national partners to support this important and strong sector in the East of England."

"We are the first region in the UK to pilot a Small Business Research Initiative competition, which demonstrates how being the ‘ideas region ' is helping drive the economy through to the upturn." 

Click here for a list of the results

Click here to link to the full press release on the Health Enterprise East website

For all press enquiries please contact: Lesley Crosland, Crosland Communications Limited. Tel: 01638 662188, Email:

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Last updated on Monday 16 November 2009 at 17:13

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