• Date

    18 Oct 2023
  • Category

Azets joins innovation accelerator for new healthcare technologies

Azets is set to participate in a major project that has been awarded a share of a new £100m government innovation fund to catalyse health and medical technologies.

Azets is one of many delivery organisations who are joining the University of Birmingham in a project to drive new medical and healthcare technologies towards commercialisation.

Called the West Midlands Health Tech Innovation Accelerator (WMHTIA), the project has received £14 million in funding from the West Midlands Combined Authorities’ Innovation Accelerator, which is part of an Innovate UK funded programme.

The project is focused on addressing the challenges of bringing new medical and healthcare technologies into the UK market. It aims to unite key players in universities, hospitals, industry and government-funded ‘Catapults’ for manufacturing innovation to help companies navigate ‘pinch-points’ in the commercialisation process.

Together these approaches support the West Midlands Plan for Growth by aiming to create a cluster of commercial activity, helping drive economic growth and enhance resilience. They will also ensure that local patients will benefit first from new medical technologies targeted at reducing healthcare inequalities in the region.

Paul Clifford, UK Head of Client Service, will lead the firm’s team which brings accounting, tax, audit and business advisory expertise, with a specialist focus on SMEs and owner-managed businesses.

The consortium also includes international full service law firm Shoosmiths, bringing legal expertise and deep sector experience to the consortium; and Acuwomen, the UK’s first all-women business consultancy founded by Dr Angela Maxwell OBE. The WMHTIA is being led by the University of Birmingham.

The investment is also expected to bolster the region’s health innovation and R&D capability, growth and spark further investment, positioning the West Midlands as a leading region for medical innovation.

Paul Clifford, UK Head of Client Service at Azets, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to make a meaningful impact and I am proud to lead the Azets team alongside the University of Birmingham, Shoosmiths, and Acuwomen. This has the potential to transform the healthcare industry and improve the lives of millions, as well as sparking new innovation and investment in the West Midlands. As an accountancy and business advisory firm specialising in SMEs, we recognise the importance of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and we are committed to providing our expertise and services to help the region’s health and medtech companies thrive.”

Shoosmiths’ head of intellectual property, Andrew Brennan, said: “It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to work on this project alongside the University of Birmingham, Azets, Acuwomen and the other key stakeholders. The Midlands already has a thriving life sciences ecosystem, which will be further bolstered by this exciting initiative. We are looking forward to supporting the region’s health and medtech businesses with their growth journey and further raising the profile of the West Midlands as a leading life sciences cluster.”

Angela Maxwell, Founder of Acuwomen, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project. Acuwomen has an outstanding record in supporting dynamic and innovative entrepreneurs to succeed. We look forward to enabling and encouraging the growth of MedTech companies in the West Midlands alongside our partners, Azets and Shoosmiths.”

Professor Liam Grover, Project Lead of the University of Birmingham’s Healthcare Technologies Institute, said: “Commercialising new healthcare and medical technologies can be fraught with regulatory hurdles and big funding gaps. Our approach will help companies make sure they are taking the right steps, addressing a clearly defined healthcare need and working with the right partners to achieve success in the marketplace.”

West Midlands Health Tech Innovation Accelerator delivery organisations include:

University of Warwick (West Midlands Health and Wellbeing Innovation Network, Warwick Manufacturing Group), Aston University, Birmingham City University, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Medilink Midlands, Shoosmiths, Azets, Acuwomen, The Technology Supply Chain, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Health Partners, Bruntwood SciTech, Precision Health Technologies Accelerator, Cogniss, Element Materials Technology, Plug and Play, and the West Midlands Growth Company.

For more information visit the WMHTIA website via www.wmhtia.com

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