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The Health Tech Alliance attended the first day of the Med-Tech Innovation Expo 2017 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry this week. Supported by MedilinkUK and Med-Tech Innovation, amongst others, the Expo heard from several industry experts.

Professor John Fisher of the University of Leeds shared the findings of his Science and Innovation Audit. Commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the Audit is expected to published in July and sets out the barriers to the growth of the health tech sector and solutions to overcoming these.

As the Green Paper states “the UK has too often pioneered discovery but not realised the commercial benefits” and the Science and Innovation Audits form part of the Government’s broader desire to build on the UK’s world-leading science and innovation base.

The Audit undertaken by Professor Fisher will set out the barriers to the sector’s growth including:

  • the complex and fragmented innovation/ product development pipeline;
  • long lead times on product development and market entry; and
  • poor access to NHS alongside a limited ability to evaluate clinical efficacy/ effectiveness

It is also expected to set out several recommendations including:

  • greater strategic leadership nationally and regionally;
  • investment in national centres of research excellence;
  • the development of a national clinical evaluation centre for med-tech devices

The Alliance looks forward to the publication of this vital piece of work which, amongst other things, will highlight the £18 billion annual contribution of the sector in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy as well as a sector’s projected growth of 64% by 2022.