Building Collaborations


A key aspect of the HealthTech and Medicines KTN’s role is facilitating collaboration between businesses and researchers. The KTN aims to help accelerate innovation by bringing the right partners together to translate the right ideas into the right products. 

The KTN has been instrumental in the formation of a number of partnerships in the field of Medical Devices and Diagnostics, including:

Friadent / University of Liverpool - The KTN funded a multi-disciplinary project including academic, clinical and industry partners, to improve dental implants using nanotechnology. The project successfully demonstrated how nanotechnology could be applied to dental implants to reduce the incidence of infection and implant failure.  

JRI / Universities of Nottingham & Newcastle - A KTN event was the key catalyst in the formation of a partnership between JRI and two universities. A KTN Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) subsequently enabled the partners to develop new shoulder implants. The implants make the surgical technique simpler, deliver improved function for patients, and are creating significant market interest.

Mediplus / NHS - The KTN supported Mediplus in identifying appropriate funding schemes and finding technology partners to support their innovations. As a result, the company has received support from the TSB, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and EU Framework Programme 6. Such grants have enabled Mediplus to support the commercialisation of technology developed within the NHS, such as CT 3000, the world’s first non-invasive system for measuring urine pressure in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate gland enlargement.

Salts Healthcare / Aston University - A KTN Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) enabled the development of new formulations for Salts Healthcare’s ostomy products. The collaboration resulted in two new products, substantial cost savings, reduced manufacturing times and an innovation award for the company. Aston University was able to feed back knowledge developed in the research into its teaching and research.

Vista Optics / Aston University - The KTN facilitated a partnership enabling project work at Aston to assist Vista Optics in producing silicone hydrogel contact lenses, which are proven to be healthier for the cornea. The collaboration has produced commercial benefit as well as considerable health-related benefit.

Other examples of collaborations between businesses and researchers with the aim of accelerating innovation include:

Enigma Diagnostics / Nottingham & Nottingham Trent Universities - Enigma  secured a £1.8 million grant from the Technology Strategy Board to work with academic researchers to develop a portable, rapid, automated DNA analysis (PRADA) molecular test system. The system will be used to diagnose infectious diseases in decentralised and point-of-care settings such as GP surgeries.

Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH) - A research collaboration between four leading UK universities (Birmingham, Brunel, Nottingham & Ulster) and a cohort of industrial partners. MATCH is also supported by stakeholders from the NHS and other public sector organisations and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and partner subscriptions. Through the translation of its research MATCH supports companies across the UK healthcare technology sector, providing methods and tools to assess the value of medical devices from concept to product.