Well established and successful structures exist to support entrepreneurs across the Imperial College ecosystem, from early-stage experimental medicine, scientific innovation and engineering advances, to start-up formation.
However, innovation in the MedTech space has remained notoriously difficult, with additional complexities and barriers to market entry such as regulatory hurdles, high development costs before a technology can attract investment, and challenges with NHS adoption.
In addition to world leading industry-agnostic entrepreneurship training, guidance, mentoring and support, centered around the KTH Innovation Readiness Levels, Imperial have an extremely strong clinical innovation base (for example, the NIHR funded Biomedical Research Centre), as well as very successful MedTech Entrepreneurship programmes such as the Medical Device Design & Entrepreneurship MRes and the MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC), placing a strong focus on establishing the unmet clinical need, regulatory and NHS access/adoption pathways, and networks of experts.
In addition, a previous Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership award has implemented an embedded Quality Management System (QMS) for Medical Device Design and Development, in the university, with dedicated project management for translational projects, and has created senior panels to advise and support translation (Surgical Advisory Panel, MedTech Innovation Panel, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence), whilst leveraging unique facilities and ecosystem within the institution. Those programmes work closely with the Technology Transfer Office (TTO), who employs domain experts in medical technologies, facilitating fast licensing to spinouts, working with the academics to secure external resource for clinical translation, and increasing translation funding success rates.
MedTechONE is a College-wide Centre of Excellence, building on those programmes, and based at Imperial White City campus, with delivery sites across College campuses. MedTechONE is embedded at the institutional level with leadership from:
• Prof Ryan, Vice Provost, Research & Enterprise, Principal Investigator
• Prof Bull, FoE
• Prof Darzi, FoM
• Prof French, FoNS
• Prof Hanna, FoM
• Dr Hepworth, Director of Enterprise
harnessing and bringing together their complementary roles in MedTech across College.
Completing existing MedTech programmes at Imperial College, recent Wellcome Trust Funding brings together key actors and programmes around three MedTech pillars, to support MedTech Entrepreneurs across College:
· an Accelerator to accelerate the technology readiness level of pre-clinical research & development, and support selected pre-clinical technology through the regulatory approval processes.
· a Foundation supporting early career researchers with a program of mentoring as well as better and more targeted training of next generation clinical innovators; and
· a Collaborative with connections to local and national networks of different clinical specialties. This can include coordinating national evaluations of our technologies in wider clinical trials, as well as accepting incoming devices into our medical technologies programme for support at all stages of translation, from first-in-human to early adoption.
The MedTech Executive Management Board allocates funds, appoints staff, monitors progress and is responsible for Day to Day Management of funded activities. The Executive Board reports to MedTechONE Board of Directors.