The MTSC is connecting academia, industry, and investment capital to turn MedTech ideas into commercial realities.
Founded in 2018 with funding from Research England, the MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC) is an Imperial College-led initiative from a consortium of eight dynamic London universities with interest in nurturing talent, ideas, and entrepreneurship. MTSC focusses on a unique new route for early career researchers (ECRs) and graduate students to translate MedTech discoveries from academic labs into startup companies, proposing new solutions to today’s health challenges.
Five cohorts of ECRs have been taken through an eight-month entrepreneurial training programme, with Orthopaedic Research UK funding the next round to focus on innovations in musculoskeletal (MSK) health. The training comprises expert business mentoring, funding, and access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise across the eight institutions. The SuperConnector also fosters connections with industry partners and potential investors to bring their projects to market. To help prepare them for these crucial opportunities, members are given access to the RCM’s pioneering performance simulation facilities and training to help them hone and deliver their pitches to investors, clients, and customers.
Bringing in £344,592 to the RCM, our MedTech cohort’s innovations range from a therapeutic trumpet for people with Cystic Fibrosis which is currently undergoing prototype trials, a digital musical instrument mobile app for children with sensorimotor impairment, a visual-based digital platform powered by neural networks to identify biomarkers in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, a digital platform to enhance clinical communication training, and an app giving information about occupation-specific pain problems. Engagement with the MTSC has also enhanced the RCM’s wider culture of enterprise and innovation, contributing to taught modules on entrepreneurial skills, the enhancement of institutional policies on commercialisation and intellectual property, and providing valuable support in strengthening the commercial viability of RCM research.
Dr George Waddell, Performance Research and Innovation Fellow at the RCM and member of the first MTSC cohort, said:
“The MedTech SuperConnector has played a vital role in my development as a researcher and educator, highlighting the commercial potential of RCM research and the value this can bring to our students and the global community. We are using the knowledge gained from the training, resources, and partnerships fostered by the MTSC to enhance how we train our students, how we approach and share our research, and how we build an ecosystem that fosters sustainable innovation with the widest possible reach and impact”.