Companies Collaborate to Accelerate Access to Medical Device Design Capabilities

ByLance T. Lee

Nov 11, 2022


Heriot-Watt University and Technology Scotland have announced their partnership to accelerate access to technology design capabilities for Scottish SMEs.

The five-year agreement will see the Medical Device Manufacturing Center (MDMC), based at Heriot-Watt University, work with Technology Scotland’s networks to accelerate the advancement of new medical and healthcare solutions to market.

The partnership will enable MDMC-supported SMEs to engage with Technology Scotland, in particular its Product Design Scotland Network, to advance design requirements with a particular focus on the sustainability of medical devices. Knowledge and expertise will then be shared between Heriot-Watt’s campuses, particularly in Dubai and Malaysia, as well as with the institution’s partner institutions.

The new agreement was celebrated during a special visit by Business Minister Ivan McKee. The Minister toured the MDMC facilities at Heriot-Watt University, learning about the facility’s work to date, including its extensive support to 115 SMEs through a combination of individual projects, trainings and specialized events.

The Minister then met with university representatives to discuss opportunities for growth in Scotland’s medical device manufacturing and biotechnology sector, including accelerating the ‘triple helix of innovation’ through collaboration closer between universities, the NHS and industry. The challenges of medical device sustainability in the NHS were also explored.

Professor Duncan Hand, Director of MDMC at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Access to specialist design capabilities is one of the biggest challenges facing SMEs working in this sector today. We had the pleasure of showing the Minister how the MDMC is meeting these challenges in partnership with organizations like Technology Scotland. We are a nation of innovators, but it is essential that expert support is more easily and consistently available to SMEs to translate their breakthrough innovations into devices that can be adopted more quickly to benefit patient care. Our new strategic partnership will further accelerate Scotland’s offering in this area, ensuring that our country maintains a global leadership position in the creation of medical devices.

Alastair McInroy, CEO of Technology Scotland, said: “Technologies developed in Scotland’s enabling technology sector have long supported our vibrant life sciences industry. Realizing the potential of these technologies and successfully navigating the path from concept to commercialization requires careful integration of design processes and frameworks. Through our Product Design Scotland Network, Technology Scotland is delighted to partner with MDMC to provide life science SMEs greater access to Scotland’s excellent design capabilities.

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government has supported the Medical Device Manufacturing Center through our Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund to drive innovation and make healthcare in Scotland more innovative to meet the needs urgent clinics, in line with corporate ambitions in our national economic transformation strategy.

“It is therefore gratifying to learn more about this partnership between Heriot Watt University and Technology Scotland, to accelerate the development of medical and healthcare solutions in Scotland and around the world. Health technologies and medical devices provide significant economic, health and employment opportunities in Scottish manufacturing. The triple helix approach of academia, industry and the NHS working in partnership is essential to the growth of this sector.

David Richardson, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship, Heriot-Watt University, saidThe Scottish life sciences sector is on track to reach over £8 billion in revenue by 2025 if current growth can be sustained. We see strategic academic and industry collaborations like the MDMC playing a major role in this continued growth. We were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss opportunities in this sector with Mr. McKee and explore how MDMC can expand its services, creating solutions for more businesses across a range of manufacturing challenges. and design. We look forward to working closely with the Scottish Government, industry, NHS and expert partners like Technology Scotland on Scotland’s life sciences growth journey, but most importantly sharing these learnings and innovations at globally to support patient care.

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