EPSRC CDT in Medical Devices & Health Technologies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Biomedical Engineering


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Devices and Health Technologies (MD&HT) at the University of Strathclyde.
This CDT will address the themes (1) Engineering for Life and Health and (2) Healthcare Device Innovation within the current call. It will seek to be distinguished and internationally recognised for its industrial connectivity, innovation in devices and health technologies, and for the production of skilled researchers and research leaders of tomorrow through research at the clinical and industrial interface. This proposal aims to increase the momentum of the existing CDT moving in to an enhanced phase in 2014-2018 with particular strengthening of international networks and EU interfaces, while still providing a high quality opportunity for engineers and physical scientists to receive a full research training at the Life Sciences Interface (LSI) of high relevance to the sector. The new CDT will have increased global reach into Europe, the USA and the fast growing research activities in the sector in the Middle East and Far East through the PI and CIs' international research activities. This CDT addresses the EPSRC's Delivery Plan for Strategy and will deliver international excellence in a sector of importance to the UK, promoting state of the art knowledge, skills and capabilities in MD&HT while generating leading edge research between the disciplines of Medicine, Science and Engineering. Our established partnerships with the NHS and other clinical providers in the UK and abroad will continue to be the clinical foundation for our work. The cohort and student-centred approach for the CDT we propose will provide an active and stimulated peer community for the researchers we will train and develop. Importantly the students will be given support from Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices (SIMD) to nurture their awareness of the impact of their research and help them deliver impact of benefit to industry, clinicians and patients.
The new Healthcare Technologies challenge theme looks across the entire EPSRC research and training portfolio, providing solutions that underpin the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector, including the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and the NHS. In addition the EPSRC theme Engineering for Life and Health states "In a healthcare agenda calling for prolonging independent living and the personalisation/stratification of care, there is opportunity for innovation from the engineering community, but successful translation requires early collaboration across industry, academia and the NHS". This CDT will deliver to that agenda through its clinical and industrial interfaces, research excellence and impact pathways. MD&HT covers a critical, high-value research and jobs sector in the UK that underpins a medical industry with global reach. In 2011 there were over 3,000 medical technology companies in the UK with a combined annual turnover of £15bn. These companies employ almost 64,000 people in the UK mainly with professional qualifications and this is identified as a strong sector with high growth prospects in UK Government Strength and Opportunities Report 2011 1 for the sector. The spread of the sector across disease types and medical conditions includes MD&HT in categories such as; single use devices ; wound care ; orthopaedics, cardiovascular devices and diagnostics as well as others. This wide scope drives the need for multidisciplinarity in research, a wide base in training and excellent clinical interfaces for relevant research and development. The subthemes for MD&HT projects ( from our core Strathclyde research strengths) are;
Drug Delivery ,Bioimaging, Medical Diagnostics, Cardiovascular Devices, , Cell & Tissue Engineering , Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Technologies, , Microdevices & Sensors , Biomaterials, Brain Machine Interfaces and Neuroprosthetics, , Bionanotechnology, Biomolecular Gels, Medical Photonics, Devices for Telehealth

Planned Impact

Pathways to Impact : CDT in Medical Devices & Health Technologies ( Strathclyde)
The CDT in Medical Devices and Health Technologies (MD&HT) addresses a critical sector for the UK that underpins both society and the economy. This sector globally must deliver both economic and societal benefit in significant terms this century. The world faces an increase in the ageing population and an increasingly high burden of chronic and lifestyle related diseases that will challenge all healthcare provision this century. A growing global population, and developing economies who need access to resources, will drive the need for efficiencies and new approaches in all aspects of life including medicine and healthcare. However in this challenging scenario there is the opportunity for breakthroughs in medicine, MD&HT and healthcare that could revolutionise the sector. Already smart phone and mobile phone applications are making significant impacts on healthcare delivery, and medical devices are being adapted to interact with mobile technologies at a rapid pace. The future for the young researcher of ability is ripe with opportunity but translation of new ideas from this generation through laboratory projects into real MD&HT that can be delivered to the patient is a critical part of the impact that we need to deliver. We need key researchers and academic leaders but also must have key pathways to translating research into industrial products and clinical processes. This is a complex task and industry and academe are still to optimise this but we must speed up and the clinical sector must play its part in helping to embed new practice that is of benefit to patients, saves costs and stimulates economies. We have a clear vision of our potential for impact in this sector, proof that we can deliver impact and the tools for remaining one of the leading centres for MD&HT in the years to come. To deliver to this agenda the key impacts need to be;
1. Creation of a versatile and multidisciplinary research and professional base capable of generating and delivery new MD&HT projects
2. Creation of start up pathways for MD&HT projects that can be identified as having high potential but are early stage and therefore not ready for industrial uptake
3. Licensing of IP or know how to established companies, particularly for high value MD&HT that requires extensive clinical trials and support to embed it in practice
4. Creation of ongoing research contracts and collaborations with industry and the NHS to help good early stage ideas continue to grow from the CDT projects and students
5. An effective clinical interface allowing appropriate interactions at different stages of CDT projects for clinicians and patients within a regulatory framework
6. Public policy and government policy impact to help flag new ideas and practices to the appropriate channels as new trends and ideas develop
7. Dissemination of research findings to the academic community and the public, and protection of new IP to secure opportunities for the UK economy

We fully understand the impact environment for MD&HT and have real practical experience of delivering to the above points as explained briefly below.


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