Supporting innovation and growth in healthcare technologies (SIGHT)
The NHS is the largest customer for medical technologies in the UK and serves more than 60 million patients. Within the Wessex region, which encompasses the Solent LEP, 10% of the workforce employed in the health economy. With more than 300 health and life science companies focused on medical technological innovation, SIGHT (Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies) will provide an important boost to the regional economy through its support of this sector.
SIGHT is a business support programme developed by the University of Portsmouth to provide help and guidance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the healthcare technology sector.
The programme aims to enhance the competitiveness of businesses in the healthcare sector in the south east region by working collaboratively with industry partners, patient groups, clinicians and academics to provide quicker access to groundbreaking healthcare technologies.
The £1.7m programme is part-funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and will draw on clinical and academic expertise from the University and from our delivery partners, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Clinical Research Network Wessex.
SIGHT will support businesses to engage through the Portsmouth Technologies Trials Unit (PTTU) – a joint initiative between Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Portsmouth which provides specialist expertise in healthcare technologies.
The programme will also help companies to become more aware of the challenges they could face bringing products to market in this sector – and help them find ways to successfully overcome them.
SIGHT will support businesses through
Providing SMEs with access to clinicians and patient groups
Sector specific support, information and guidance to enable growth in regional/national and international markets
Quarterly business innovation engagement workshops
Bespoke advice to help overcome regulatory barriers that currently limit opportunities to expand into new markets
A financial grant scheme for SMEs to access additional support
"SIGHT is a win-win: SMEs will receive bespoke, agile support to increase their competitiveness, and access new markets and develop products. It will help them avoid the so called ‘valley of death’ many companies face between innovation and getting a medical technology product to market. And as a result, patients and the public will benefit from faster access to new products and services that meet their healthcare needs."