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Lancashire businesses to benefit from Health Matters programme

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lancashire with an interest in healthcare will benefit from a new programme that offers guidance on funding and investment opportunities.

The collaborative project, in which the Innovation Agency will partner with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), will help businesses navigate the health ecosystem and provide real-world validation of products and services. This will allow companies to show evidence of the impact and benefits of their products.

The £2.4 million Health Matters programme offers businesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The Innovation Agency brings unique access to the NHS, clinical staff and commissioners, while UCLan will lead on intellectual property, commercialisation and investment readiness and on product validation. It will exploit its strengths in medicine, clinical practice, product design and technology development. 

The aim of Health Matters is to catalyse businesses in Lancashire to become market leaders in health, wellbeing and care by encouraging the development of new products, services and solutions.

Over the three years of its delivery, the programme aims to support 86 businesses. To be eligible, businesses must aim to commercialise products or services in the health and care sectors and be based in Lancashire.

Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive at the Innovation Agency, said: “The Lancashire Health Matters project will support innovative Lancashire businesses capable of moving into, or growing within, the health and care sectors with new or existing services or products. 

“Lancashire Health Matters will provide mechanisms to validate the benefits of an innovation in a practical, real-world setting, a key activity to support health system uptake. The programme will also support the region’s ambitions to address the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges and wider activities.”

Professor StJohn Crean, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Clinical, Health and Research) at UCLan, said: “The project will support the establishment of a med-tech cluster to rival Manchester and Liverpool, providing the key interface in Lancashire between industry, science and medicine for the design, realisation, adoption and spread of innovative medical technologies into the NHS in Lancashire.”

The Health Matters programme is delivered through a partnership between UCLan, the Innovation Agency and Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership. 

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