Health Technology

The SIGHT programme is now officially live and welcoming England-based SMEs to join-up as members

  • 11 December 2019
  • 5 min read

The SIGHT (Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies) programme is now officially live and welcoming England-based SMEs to join-up as members; this is an exciting milestone for all of us who have been living and breathing this project for nearly 2 years now!

For the uninitiated, ‘Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies’ (SIGHT) is an European Regional Development Fund part-funded programme to support medtech focussed small and medium sized companies in England gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This £1.7 million programme will do this by providing companies with expert insight and guidance in this field, by linking SMEs with relevant clinicians, patients and academics at the earliest opportunity to ensure their offerings meet real-world needs and through a grant funding scheme. This exciting programme of work will be delivered in collaboration by the University of Portsmouth (UoP), Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) and Wessex Clinical Research Network (WCRN) with the support of other regional/national stakeholders like the Wessex Academic Health Science Network (WAHSN).
Networking at SIGHT launch
This all ‘kicked-off’ in some style on the 20 November at the official launch of the programme at the university. Joined by colleagues from the aforementioned organisations, and more importantly by numerous SMEs, the programme offering was introduced by Professors Anoop Chauhan and Gordon Blunn and Dr Phil Jewell (SIGHT Business Development and Programme Manager). This was followed by fascination insight on the challenges of selling to the NHS, the grant funding landscape for SMEs and an introduction into intellectual property from Bill Gillespie (Chief Executive WAHSN), Kevin Brooks (Bid Specialist WAHSN/BrooksKebbey Ltd) and Mark Barber (Commercialisation Manager UoP). These talks provided great value to all in attendance and this has nicely set the scene for the type of expert insight the programme will provide to all the companies who engage.

Following a caffeine re-fuel an inspirational film highlighting why new technologies are so vital for patients and clinicians reminded us all why we are so passionate about working in this field, to improve the lives of patients in the NHS. Medtech can be a challenging field to operate in, so talks from three companies currently thriving in this arena proved the perfect motivation to all those in attendance. Dr Kam Pooni from Glyconics ltd bestowed the virtue of concentrating on end-user needs and the importance of collaborating with the real experts at the coal face. Michael Buckfield from Microlink PC Ltd described how the company was developing pioneering mental health technologies and the next step in their evolution. Laurence Pearce, CEO of xim Ltd, shared his company’s journey from initial idea, through to product development, clinical trials and interacting with national bodies. 

Finally, the audience provided stellar participating in an open panel session to further explore how this programme can best support SMEs going forward. Then, the most anticipated part of the day, the wine reception! This was the perfect way to round off the launch as everybody came together to share in the excitement of this programme and the potential for these companies to make a real difference to the NHS and patients.

The SIGHT programme team are truly grateful to all those who took the time to support, speak at the event and to our SME attendees. We can’t wait to work with you all closer and get even more companies signed up! The potential for Portsmouth to be a leading light in support new medical/healthcare technology is huge, and we look forward to supporting this agenda through this innovative programme.

If this has inspired you to find out more about the programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch at and please do follow us on twitter @SIGHT_programme