Government launches £3.7m competition for healthcare innovation

Science minister David Willetts announces fund for photonics-based healthcare technology

A £3.7m fund aimed at businesses in the photonics healthcare sector has been launched today by the minister for universities and science David Willetts.

Run by the Technology Strategy Board, the fund will be administered in a two stage competition for businesses focused on innovation in light and laser-based therapy.

Lasting between six and 12 months, the initial stage will provide up to £100,000 to single research projects in the pre-trade stage of development.

The second competition, designed to support slightly later stage projects for up to 24 months as they conduct industrial research, will offer grants of up to £750,000. A total of £2.2m has been dedicated to this strand of the competition, while £1.5m has been pledged to stage one and projects across both competitions will be encouraged to secure early end-user involvement.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy board explained: “The involvement of clinical and industrial end-users in both the feasibility studies and R&D stages of the competition will help ensure not just that the NHS and clinicians fully understand the potential of next generation photonic technologies, but that they can bring their expertise to bear in the development of a range of new tools for less invasive diagnosis and surgery.”




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