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The NIHR Surgical MedTech Cooperative (MIC) is funded to develop new concepts, develop proof-of-concept/principle and to devise research protocols for medical technologies for surgery by working in collaboration with academics, clinicians, industry and patients. Programme Director, Vee Mapunde told the Health Tech Alliance a little more about their priorities moving forward:

Developing new concepts – “clinicians, academics, industry or patients with an idea that they think can be applied to a healthcare setting or commercialised can approach us. The key thing is that this idea has to directly benefit patients and improve their clinical outcomes. Sometimes concepts come from existing technologies in a non-healthcare setting, and the novelty there is how we can apply it to a healthcare setting. Our unmet clinical needs can be found here – http://surgicalmic.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/.”

Developing proof-of-concept/principle – “we play a key part in preventing innovators from falling into the “valley of death”. There are many good ideas out there, however not all of them can be commercialised for healthcare. Our job is to assess the idea and make a decision on whether it’s worth securing additional funding to develop a working prototype, that can be tested in a simulated environment. We have some funding available to fund this activity, and where additional funds are required, we collaborate on funding applications to take the work forward. For details on our funding calls and ones we can collaborate on – http://surgicalmic.nihr.ac.uk/support-available/funding-competitions/.”

Devising research protocols – “for those innovators looking to make healthcare providers their major buyer, it is important to demonstrate efficacy, safety, cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and everything else under the sun. By partnering with the University of Leeds’ Academic Unit of Health Economics and their Clinical Trials Research Unit we can support the development of research protocols that will ensure that all the required evidence is generated with the aim of supporting adoption, commercialisation and diffusion of your technology.”

“We want to work with innovators on their ideas, we want to help turn those ideas into working prototypes, and we want to support the generation of clinical evidence in a real-world setting.”