The University of Hertfordshire, Imperial College London and Cranfield University are joining forces to develop a robust partnership to build on their joint expertise, infrastructure and networks in the healthcare technologies sector.

Funded by Research England’s Connected Capability Fund, the Healthcare Technologies Capability Connector (HTCC) partnership will be leveraging the three partners’ expertise and infrastructure to boost commercialisation know how ; share best practice around effective research translation and jointly build a diverse talent pipeline of researchers and entrepreneurs, supporting businesses across our network to bring new products, services and technologies to market.

This initiative brings together institutions with complementary strengths in building enterprise and commercialisation ecosystems to deliver sustainable impact and meet a key industry need.

The partners

  • University of Hertfordshire – through its incubation, acceleration and broader research and development (R&D) support, Herts has a wealth of experience supporting the growth of micro and SMEs through access to start-up, innovation and growth support, particularly within the life sciences sector.
  • Imperial College London – Imperial has a rich and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that has generated hundreds of spin-outs and student founded start-ups. With a focus on taking innovation out of the lab and into the public realm, Imperial has a wealth of experience translating research into commercial opportunities.
  • Cranfield University – Cranfield has a long history of entrepreneurship and business growth. Cranfield has notable expertise in scaling up, taking SMEs to the next level through programmes of support led by management experts.

Healthcare technologies: a crucial sector for the UK and the region

  • The UK life science industry employs 256,000 people with a turnover of £80.6 billion.
  • The Government’s UK Innovation Strategy identifies life sciences as a key growth area, advancing the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower.
  • The UK Innovation Strategy highlights the ‘importance of proximal R&D in increasing the speed of innovation’.

The UK has committed to £200 million through the British Business Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Programme to target the growth stage funding gap faced by UK life science companies.

The programme

The sectoral focus on healthcare technologies will be underpinned by three workstreams:

  1. Academic research translation – proof of concept funding and commercialisation support provided by all partners to new academic innovations emerging from within the three partner institutions.
  2. SME commercialisation support – through an accelerator programme for UK SMEs, involving access to senior academic expertise, researcher-led R&D support, access to specialist infrastructure and support across the partnership, including incubator spaces and labs.
  3. Talent pipeline development – training and development of enterprise and commercialisation skills within research cohorts as well as executive-level mentoring for founders and entrepreneurs.

The vision

The UK’s life science sector is vibrant and of vital importance to the economy. However, a key challenge as it looks to grow and remain competitive is to create the conditions for innovations to scale at pace by facilitating access to space, specialist labs, equipment, research and manufacturing expertise.

HTCC aims to respond to this challenge by linking up London-based SMEs and innovators to ecosystems in the larger Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire regions which are ready to support innovation at scale. Equally, we are keen to link up investment networks in London with SMEs innovating across the wider region.