The best of UK medical technology innovation honoured

25 March 2010

Some of the UK's most pioneering technology companies were recognised this month at the Medilink UK Awards 2010, an annual event that celebrates cutting-edge technologies, outstanding business achievements and international success across the UK’s medical technology sector.

The event was sponsored by engineering and materials technology company Sandvik, which has just invested in a European centre of excellence in the UK. A panel of judges from every region of the UK selected the best of the regional Medilink Award Winners. The categories included Innovation, Growth in Sector, Start-Up, Export Achievement and Partnership with the NHS.

As well as recognising success, the event also provided a great networking opportunity for the healthcare community (industry, clinical and academic) providing them with a chance to hear from leading figures across the sector such as Sir Christopher O’Donnell, a former Chief Executive of Smith & Nephew and currently a member of the Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group.

MedilinkUK 2010 award winners
The MedilinkUK 2010 award winners

Winning The HealthTech & Medicines KTN ‘Innovation’ Award was Yorkshire based Brandon Medical Ltd, who develop, design and manufacture medical lighting, medical audio-visual systems, medical architectural equipment and control and power systems for the critical care areas. Quasar is the first operating light to have extremely high colour rendition across the full visible spectrum; making it easier for surgeons to see small differences in tissue colour. Other shortlisted companies in this category were BRP Medical Ltd (Mansfield) and Vitro Safe Systems Ltd (Newcastle).

The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) ‘Export Achievement’ Award was won by R5 Pharmaceuticals from Nottingham, who as a result of accessing three new markets have increased their export sales by a staggering 1000%. The company provides comprehensive dosage formulation and evidence service across a variety of applications, including tablets, capsules, powders, creams and liquids. To win the category they beat off competition from both Kimal plc (Wolverhampton) and Trio Healthcare Ltd (North Yorkshire).

Winner of the Department of Business Innovations and Skills (BIS) ‘Growth in Sector’ Award was IntraHealth. Based in Peterlee, the company provides primary care services for a range of long-term conditions, including heart disease, chronic lung disease and anticoagulant monitoring, to 22 surgeries across the UK. In the past two years the company has seen a considerable increase in turn-over and gone from employing 101 staff to 300. The runners up in the category were Paxman Coolers Ltd (Huddersfield) and Derbyshire based Sumed International (UK) Ltd.

The NHS National Innovation Centre ‘Partnership with the NHS Award’ was awarded to Invacare Ltd in recognition for their collaborative work to benefit both patients and NHS staff. Cardiff based Invacare has developed the HomeFill oxygen system in partnership with Dolby Medical and NHS Oxygen Management. The product allows the patient to refill their mobile cylinders from their own oxygen store, while continuing to receive oxygen at the same time. This innovative system means that the patient no longer has to relay on oxygen deliveries and can lead a more independent life. Shortlisted companies included Wolverhampton based Medifilm (UK) Ltd and Northamptonshire based Savience Ltd.

The winner of the ‘Medilink UK’ Start-Up Award was InterVene Ltd from Sheffield. Intervene is a specialist product developer, who have created a female Luer lock hypodermic syringe designed specifically for oral and enteral medication delivery. This particular product was designed as a result of a patient alert issued by the National Patient Safety Agency in March 2007. The company is now turning over £1.5m plus per year; a massive increase on their first year of trading in 2008, when they turned-over just over £13,000. Runners up in the category included North East based Geneius Laboratories and Cambridge based Pathology Diagnostics.

Speaking about his award, Huw Roderick, Business Development Manager Respiratory at Invacare, said: “To be recognised by fellow professionals and receive an award like this is fantastic. It gives you recognition and is an important stepping stone to move the product forward.”

Graeme Hall, Managing Director of Brandon Medical, said: “We are thrilled to receive this national innovation award. Brandon Medical is dedicated to providing new innovations to improve Hospitals and its patient care. Its great to see our investments in research and development recognised in this way.”

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