MedTechAccelerator Funding Calls
For all applications, we believe that having a team which includes a clinician and an engineer or scientist is paramount
We currently run 2 types of competitions:
- MedTech Fellowships – up to £90k for 9-12 months, led by an early career researcher (ECRs) with the support of a PI. The applicant must pitch to a MedTech innovation panel (industry and clinical experts) as part of the selection process.
- Proof of Concept awards – Approximately £10k-20k for 3-5 months, led by an ECRs with the support of a PI
We also run Joint competitions with other programmes, such as DT Prime, these must be led by an Academic member of staff.
1. MedTech Fellowships/DT Prime Joint Calls
We provide adapted project support for the projects we fund. During the 9-12 months MedTech Fellowships, we offer typically 2-3h per week of one of the Accelerator Professional Staff time, adapted to what the project needs (Figure 4). We ask the Fellow to spend at least 1 day per week on translational work (not lab based).
Figure 4: MedTechONE Fellowship Journey
Translation Project Management
- Set up the Development Action Plan – Agree 2-3 milestones for the projects - TRL based, focused on increasing attractiveness to potential customers.
- Regular (weekly) 1:1 between the lead researcher (e.g. ECR) and MedTech translation project manager - breaking down into smaller actions (tracked in a “passport”), with particular focus on:
- Support customer/market discovery where required (templates available where necessary – e.g developing links with target partners, competitors reviews, customer questionnaires).
- Developing links with potential partners/customers
- Help identify suitable translation grants & support the application writing – develop a credible business case/exploitation strategy / health economics case, development plan & review application – typically for RAEng Enterprise Fellowship, NIHR i4i or Innovate_UK Smart/Biomedical catalyst
- Sign-post to available online training.
Regulatory landscape/clinical strategy advice
- Adapted – From initial information & advice on classification/target market, introduction to regulatory experts (with correct expertise), help formulate clinical end points, all the way to initiating 13485 QMS documentation of design.
- Regular QARA 1:1 available for QMS ready projects (entry into the QMS is gated) - we run a ISO13485/21CFR820 compliant Quality Management System, for Design and development of medical devices.
- We implement Design and Development to ISO13485/21CFR820, ISO 62366, IEC 62304, and risk management to ISO14971, preliminary initial clinical evaluation - we have procedures and templates in the QMS.
- Aim to transfer to start up – D&D documentation is transferred for integration into Start up QMS. For start-ups that have the ability to develop their own and manage their own QMS, we provide access to the Imperial QMS as an example.
KTH Innovation Readiness Level
The KTH Innovation Readiness Level is a complete and established framework used globally and at the Enterprise Lab at Imperial, to guide idea development and to assess idea status across key dimensions. It provides structure and support for idea owners as well as coaches and managers in the development of an early-stage idea to innovation on the market.
The model assesses idea development on a scale from 1 to 9 in six key areas of innovation development, and we are investigating an additional Regulatory Readiness Level for MedTech projects. Figure 5 below illustrates the key dimensions that any innovation needs to progress to achieve success.
Figure 5: KTH Innovation Levels
Together with colleagues in Enterprise, we use this to help guide projects and to measure the effectiveness of our support.
2. Proof-of-Concept awards
For our Proof-of-Concept awards the support is much lighter – we offer a review point at Month 1 and Month 3.
The focus is to make sure the Proof-of-Concept Awards helps ECRs and Pls increase the technology readiness level (TRL) and secure further translation funding. We also provide guides for the ECRs engaging with this process.