Life science & medtech sectors boosted with £500,000 investment

INVEST Essex has played a key role facilitating introductions which will see the life sciences and medical technology sector in the Eastern regions benefit from a £500,000 funding injection from Essex County Council into the Medtech Accelerator. The Medtech Accelerator has been set up to support early stage development of medtech innovations by offering funding as well as practical advice to help ensure that medtech innovations get to market as quickly as possible.

Since the launch of the Medtech Accelerator in 2016 a total of £670,000 has been awarded to support innovation projects derived from within the NHS. The latest investment by Essex County Council shows their commitment to developing Essex’s potential to become a global leader in the life sciences and medical technology sector.

“We are thrilled that Essex County Council has chosen Medtech Accelerator for this significant investment and can’t wait to see the projects currently being supported by Medtech Accelerator in use and making a vital difference in our hospitals. We’re also grateful to INVEST Essex who played a key role in facilitating Medtech Accelerator’s introductions to Essex County Council and bringing about their investment.”


Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO, Health Enterprise East

“Our investment in Medtech Accelerator is further evidence of our confidence in the potential of the life sciences and Medtech sectors to drive economic growth in our region and across the UK. We are delighted to support a venture that will help commercialise pioneering medical innovations at the same time as creating jobs locally in Essex.


Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader at Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

How the Medtech Accelerator will impact the Eastern region

A total of £2 million is available with individual awards to be made of between £15,000 and £125,000 to innovation projects that show the potential to create future spin-out companies primarily out of NHS organisations. Awards are aimed at supporting proof of concept work with the intention of creating future spin-out companies that will be established across the region.

The Medtech Accelerator has so far funded seven individual projects. Projects that have received financial backing to date range from an enhanced tissue ablation technology used in the treatment of tumours, to a safer technique for administering anaesthesia. This funding has brought innovators closer to selling and marketing their innovations and given them access to guidance at crucial junctures on issues such as building and designing prototypes, preparing for CE-marking and conducting human study trials.

Medtech Accelerator health hacks

Anglia Ruskin UniversityThe Medtech Accelerator has also run two successful Health Hack events in recent months, where innovators gathered to work on new ideas for potentially life-saving medical technologies. At each event, the most promising projects were invited to apply to the Medtech Accelerator for further funding and support. The next Health Hack event, focusing on patient safety, will take place in May 2018 and be hosted at the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. 

For further information about the Medtech Accelerator see here.

Supporting innovative products in the life science and medtech sector

MedovateHealth Enterprise East (HEE) have also launched a separate medtech innovation development company named Medovate Ltd to boost the financial and technical support available to NHS medtech innovators. Backed by £9 million of investment capital, Medovate is the first company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative medical technologies from within the NHS, which will commercially benefit the NHS.

For more information about Medovate see here.

About the Medtech Accelerator

The Medtech Accelerator is a joint venture between the NHS and regional business partners including:

  • Health Enterprise East (HEE): a leading NHS innovation hub committed to improving healthcare through the provision of professional business and innovation management services.
  • New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough (GCGP): Covering Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Rutland, West Suffolk, West Norfolk, Uttlesford, South Kesteven, and South Holland. Drives forward economic growth by overcoming key barriers that hold local businesses back.
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs): Local business led partnerships between local authorities and businesses, determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs. There are 39 LEPs across England.
  • The Eastern Academic Health Science Network (AHSN): One of 15 AHSNs set up to spread innovation at pace and scale across the healthcare system – in order to improve health and generate economic growth.
  • Essex County Council: the county council that governs the non-metropolitan county of Essex.

Benefits of Essex’s location for businesses in the life sciences and health technology sector

INVEST Essex promotes Essex as a prime UK business solution location to international and UK companies. Essex is located at the heart of the London-Stansted-Cambridge Innovation Corridor, positioning businesses within Europe’s largest life sciences and medical technologies cluster. Essex’s state-of-the-art research and business parks offer fast connections to both Cambridge and London via the M11 motorway. These strategic business locations provide life sciences and healthcare companies with direct access to world-class people, knowledge, funding and collaborative networks, at significantly lower cost than either Cambridge or London can offer.

To find out more about Essex’s life sciences and medical technology sector see here

Dave Russell-Graham
Dave Russell-Graham

Inward Investment Manager (Life Sciences)

+44 (0) 7881 310776


With over 30 years’ experience in the life sciences and healthcare sector Dave has an extensive range of contacts in the industry as well as experience in pharmaceutical development through to facility refurbishment and fit out. Dave’s work has predominantly been with major pharmaceutical companies, and in 2011 he was a key player in the deal between Pfizer and Mylan for Pfizer’s respiratory technology platform. More recently he has worked as the Scientific Development Advisor for Harlow Science Park.