To unlock the massive economic and clinical potential of the biophotonics research field several barriers to market must be overcome. The National Centre for Healthcare Photonics, set up in 2018 at NETPark, UK, is an £18 million centre dedicated to supporting companies of all sizes in translating research into commercial products. This presentation will detail case studies demonstrating effective partnerships between local companies, non-governmental organisations and universities to bring healthcare products utilising photonics to market more effectively.
A dedicated project, Spotlight, funded by the ERDF, provides healthcare photonics SMEs and start-ups with funded support including staff time from Durham University and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), an organisation specialising in supporting the development of next-generation manufacturing organisations. Examples of support that Spotlight offers include:
- access to lab space and state-of-the-art research facilities;
- proof-of-concept research;
- system design, prototyping and validation activity;
- manufacture of equipment for clinical investigation;
- regulatory compliance support;
- health economics modelling
- commercialisation support;
- pathways to generating clinical evidence.
Typically, the SMEs that partner with Spotlight have expertise in several areas and research fields but lack either photonics expertise or access to photonics equipment and do not have the scale or resources to obtain these feasibly. We will present examples of SMEs that have received assistance from Spotlight to enable commercial translation of research. Examples are taken at different stages of product development and different biophotonics technologies and demonstrate the success of interdisciplinary academic-industry partnerships in translating research to market.