Go for gold as government grants flood the medical device market

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TBAT Innovation Ltd, an independent organisation that helps companies innovate, stresses there is no better time to apply for grants than now, with over £200 million funds available to businesses looking to support new and innovative products, services, processes and/or markets.

TBAT Innovation Ltd, an independent organisation that helps companies innovate, stresses there is no better time to apply for grants than now, with over £200 million funds available to businesses looking to support new and innovative products, services, processes and/or markets.

Established in 2002, TBAT claims that the medical devices market stands to benefit significantly from two major funding streams, in the form of the new Biomedical Catalyst Funding and the annual SMART Funding, offering serious investment opportunities in 2012 and encourages UK companies not to miss this opportunity. Matt Symonds, Director of TBAT comments: “The combined grant funds this year, which can be applied for throughout 2012, makes it a very significant time for investment in this sector, but people need to remember the process is a competition and therefore it’s important to get it right. Applying for grants is about choosing the right one for your business and then applying the proper procedures to secure that investment. If you are in doubt and/or don’t have the time or expertise to produce a grant application, always seek expert advice”.

TBAT’s call for action comes at a time when two major funding opportunities are available to the medical device sector for the first time. Firstly the £180 million Biomedical Catalyst funding, live since the end of April 2012, and supported jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The aim of this new funding is to support UK SME’s and academics looking to develop innovative solutions to address today’s healthcare challenges. Plus the TSB’s annual scheme, SMART Funding, with a further £30 million available to small to medium sized enterprises, including pre-startups, in the area of science, technology or engineering.

A recent client of TBAT, David Wright, Managing Director at ViVO Smart Medical Devices Ltd, a medical device design and development company, with their award winning Pupiloscope™ developed in collaboration with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , reflects on the important role TBAT played in submitting a successful grant application for their business. “In September 2011, TBAT helped us apply for TSB grant funding in our pursuit to develop Pupiloscope™, a portable handheld electric pupil diagnostic device, and bring it to market”, comments David Wright. “Winning the grant award enabled us to accelerate the product development process, fabricate working prototypes and allowed us to fund technical research, market exploitation, user requirements and sales channels that we could not have afforded otherwise”. He adds, “TBATs insight and expertise provided ViVO Smart Medical Devices with an invaluable launch pad for Pupiloscope™ and therefore I would definitely look to a future collaboration for new requirements”.

Over the last 12 months TBAT has leveraged over £6 million worth of grants available to its clients, by using flexible, bespoke tools including grant finding capabilities to help clients deliver and profit from new and innovative projects. In light of the significant funding streams available to the market, the medical device industry and its members need to be equipping themselves with the best chances for success.

TBAT puts this down to simple business sense. Matt Symonds concludes: “Securing grants can be a bit like the square peg in a round hole analogy if you’re not careful. Don’t try to fit your business into a grant, find a grant to fit your business. We always work with a client to discuss in depth their project and what they want to do with it before we start to research the potential grant opportunities. Knowing the idiosyncrasies of the venture and the longterm goals and projections are key to shaping what grant will enable that company to move in line with their needs”. He adds: “Once the correct grant is identified we work closely with a client to write the proposal and/or business case for the grant securement and achieve a very high success rate. Get any of these stages wrong and it will certainly lead to the failure in grant securement or acquiring the wrong type, either of which will severely hamper the development and fruition of a new project. Don’t leave it to chance, secure help and advice from experts in this field”.

TBAT is an independent company run and owned by the directors. The company looks to help clients grow through opportunity, which leads to TBAT defining, investigating, funding and optimising opportunities to provide advice and support in their client’s pursuit to profit from new and innovative products, services, processes and markets. Services include: market and technology research; business strategy and evaluation; due diligence; funding sources; partnering; project management; marketing strategy; supply chain and process development and training. For more information and advice on grants for your business needs contact TBAT on: 01509 670 610.

For more information on TBAT’s grant finding and application service, please log onto: http://www.tbat.co.uk.

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Philippa Bevan

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