Medilink East Midlands wins £2.1m funding from ERDF for advisory
31 July 2013
Medilink East Midlands will be able to continue its iNet
business advisory service for a further two years with an additional
£2.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The healthcare and bioscience iNet advisory service targets
innovative businesses looking to develop within the life-sciences
sector. An agreement has been signed between Medilink East Midlands
and the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and
Local Government (DCLG), to part fund the project which will run
until June 2015.
Darren Clark, Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands
commented: "The iNet service has had a major influence on the
success of life science companies in the region, so we are delighted
that this work can continue through our team of specialist advisers.
We will continue offering practical advice and assistance to
innovative companies, and support them in accessing funding, as well
as providing clinical and academic expertise. This applies as much
to manufacturers of medical devices and equipment as it does to drug
development, and also helps those firms moving into the sector for
the first time.
"We have been encouraged by the number of new start-up
organisations that are emerging, especially within the
pharmaceutical sector, which are driven by innovation. Additionally,
our medical technology sector, which receives significant support
from Medilink, continues to go from strength-to-strength. The East
Midlands now has the second largest cluster of Med-Tech businesses
in the country, with the first largest accumulation in the West
Midlands, positioning our entire region at the forefront of
advancement and growth in the UK's Med-Tech industry."
Since it was established in 2008, the iNet has worked with
SMEs and individuals at every stage of the innovation journey,
connecting them with relevant academic, clinical and business
expertise in order to take innovative products and services from
concept to market.
Medilink EM says that the iNet project has already helped:
- Secure over £7m investment for companies;
- Ensure at least 30 new product or service launches;
- Establish 29 collaborative research projects that have
secured over £20m additional funding;
- Create over 112 jobs and safeguarded over 200 more;
- Initiate 169 company collaborations with the local
- Produced an increase of over £5.5m in economic growth;
Keith Widdowson, Chairman of Medilink East Midlands said, "Small
life science businesses are a significant engine for growth in the
East Midlands; the iNet project run by Medilink East Midlands is the
oil that ensures this engine runs as smoothly as possible. By
providing the right contacts and advice at the right moment,
innovative businesses are guided through to the point where they can
sustain their momentum, creating jobs and wealth in the region in
In winning continued ERDF funding for this project we have
ensured that this vital service is not lost and that the sector in
the East Midlands can continue to outperform other regions in the
growth of these businesses."