Arise Innovation Hubs’ ABOVE funding focuses on HealthTech and MedTech

Education: Secondary / Sun 19th Nov 2023 at 09:13am

ARISE Innovation Hubs, part of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), has launched a new grant programme. Arise ABOVE (Arise Beyond Open Innovation for Value and Entrepreneurship) will deliver innovation grants, expert support and events to unlock HealthTech and MedTech investment in Essex.

Grant funds of up to £5,000 will be available to organisations based, or looking to grow, in Essex. Supported by the Arise entrepreneurial ecosystem, the programme will stimulate the Health Technology and MedTech sectors, generating increased research and development collaborations, investment and local employment.

ABOVE grant funding is available from Monday, 20 November until August 2024 on a rolling basis. Applications for funding can be made through the Arise website.

To be eligible for ABOVE funding, the business or organisation must work in medical technology, life science or related sectors and be partially or wholly located in, or relocating to, Essex. Not-for-profit, charitable organisations, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and start-ups are all eligible for support.

The grant scope includes the creation of new products, services or prototypes, to generate or unlock additional research and development funds or investment in Essex, or to create collaborative research and development projects with Higher Education Institutes, notably Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Life Sciences is one of the UK’s most successful sectors, worth over £94 billion to the UK economy in 2021 from a total of 6,548 businesses – 80% of which are SMEs. The UK accounts for 35% of all Life Science start-ups created in Europe since 2012.

The funding for the ABOVE programme has been provided by Essex County Council as part of their 10-year sector strategy to grow life science, digitech, advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors, leading to more opportunity, jobs and growth across Essex.

Arise Innovation Hubs are working closely with partners Medilink Midlands, a specialist provider of support to the life science sector, to help SMEs overcome barriers to growth in the delivery of ABOVE. This will include specialist interest groups, events, 1-2-1 business support sessions and innovation support grants, culminating in the first Arise conference in 2024.

Teresa Smith, Senior Innovation Adviser at Medilink Midlands, said: “Medilink Midlands is delighted to be part of Arise Innovation Hubs’ innovation business support programme, ‘Arise ABOVE’. Working with Dr Beverley Vaughan and the team, we look forward to supporting business growth opportunities across Essex, offering business assistance and grant funding for MedTech and healthcare projects on their innovation journey.”

Arise Innovation Hubs are creating opportunities for businesses in the Health, Performance and Wellbeing sector in Essex, bringing together entrepreneurs, resources, access to funding and academic collaboration.

Dr Beverley Vaughan, Director of Arise Innovation Hubs, said: “Arise Innovation Hubs have been working to deliver support to the health technology and MedTech community since 2015. The ABOVE programme and our innovation support grants continue to provide for future success and commercialisation.

“We clearly see the convergence of traditionally successful sectors in the region, such as advanced manufacturing and ICT, with the health technology and MedTech clusters to drive new innovations. We hope that through access to specialist events, business support and funding, we will continue to support that pathway to growth.”

Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “We are thrilled to support the new Arise ABOVE innovation support grants. Our commitment to levelling up healthy lifestyles, supporting carers and promoting independence relies on future-thinking innovation and digital solutions.

“We hope this exciting opportunity supports local businesses to scale up their projects and enhance care, medicine and science in Essex. We have identified Life Sciences as a key growth sector in the county, already employing more than 5,000 people. The demand for innovation in the sector is set to grow, and we know opportunities such as the ABOVE innovation support grants will help Essex-based experts to address new health challenges.

“Alongside this new opportunity, we’ll continue to nurture local organisations via our CareTech Forum. This evolving working group of the most innovative businesses in the county will reconvene in December, giving new and existing members the chance to drive further transformation and evolution in the sector.”

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