21 April 2017
Health Enterprise East (HEE) and the Eastern AHSN recently hosted a Clinical Entrepreneurs Forum in Cambridge. The first of what is planned to be a regular event, the forum provided a fantastic opportunity to hear first-hand from entrepreneurs, innovators, and Clinical Fellows, providing valuable and practical advice, insight and experiences into their own innovation success and the support on offer. The day also provided plenty of scope for networking with like minded colleagues who share an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Focused on overcoming some of the barriers to innovation in healthcare, presentations from Dr David Brooks, CEO Ablatus Therapeutics Ltd and Dr Vincent Gnanapragasam a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Addenbrookes Hospital provided stimulating and dynamic content from a ‘real life’ perspective. Insight into the resources that currently exist for financial and business support was high on the agenda with talks from Dr John Pritchard, Entrepreneur in Residence for Cambridge University and Maryanne Mariyaselvam, NIA Fellow and Clinical Entrepreneur at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn.
Delegates also heard from the team at the Medtech Accelerator, a new joint venture to help facilitate the early stage development of innovations in medical technology that meet unmet clinical needs within the NHS. With a total of £1.5 million available, it was not a surprise to see the interest from delegates on how they could access the individual awards of up to £125,000 for innovation projects that have the potential to create future spin-out companies.
Feedback on the day was very positive and according to one attendee: “The meeting provided valuable network connections and a structure of professional reinforcement. It was very clear from the lectures and Q&A session just how valuable peer-support is to clinicians. “
Dr Anne Blackwood, Chief Executive at HEE commented: “This event has been a great opportunity to connect already successful innovators in the eastern region with aspiring entrepreneurs in the healthcare profession. It arose from a need to develop a local network to support clinical entrepreneurs coming together to draw on one another’s experience of the challenges and opportunities of innovation.
Chairing the agenda, Dr Steve Feast, Managing Director of Eastern AHSN added: “It is our hope that through improved networking, we can create communities of visionaries who will then be well placed to tackle the healthcare innovation challenges that we face in the region. I am delighted with the great feedback received and we look forward to working with HEE and our regional colleagues to host similar events in the future.”