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GM AHSN supports £1m leveraged funding for SMEs

Greater Manchester SMEs are benefiting from £1 million funding leveraged through Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network’s work, which is directly leading to job creation for the local area.

Nine SMEs have been awarded a share of the money, leveraged from the Corridor Growth Fund, and as a result of the investment, 50 new jobs have been created.

Greater Manchester continues to be at the forefront of support for emerging SMEs who have innovative solutions. One beneficiary is eLucid mHealth Ltd who are pioneers in the development of disruptive software technology which has the capacity to deliver improved patient care within the healthcare system. To date they have received grants from both the Corridor Growth Fund and the GM ASHN via a Technology Innovation Challenge call. CEO Graham Howieson said: “These awards demonstrate a level of commitment to fresh ideas and innovative solutions, and as a result we are delighted to be involved. Furthermore we look forward to building upon our relationships to create a lasting legacy.”

One of Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network’s objectives is to support SMEs to work with the NHS and create wealth for the local area through developing their businesses further.

GM AHSN has offered a range of support to these SMEs including providing advice on NHS procurement and how to develop business plans, facilitating access to the NHS for research and tests, and making a series of ‘Technology Innovation Challenge’ awards which provide funds for academic, clinical and SME consortia  to develop solutions to current unmet clinical needs.

Another SME which received funding is Intelligence Development Ltd (ID). Their CEO Stephen Bookbinder commented: “ID is a specialist research and development technology company, dedicated to the development of medical solutions for health management. We have recently been awarded £37,000 from The Manchester Corridor Growth Fund to further the development of innovative real-time monitoring and delivery devices, together with new clinically functional nutritional solutions. The fund has helped set up a new office and laboratory facility at Manchester Science Park for Phase 1 & 2 development and prototyping and enabled ID to employ two additional specialists and safeguard one job. ID believes the fund has been instrumental in creating new opportunities and in aiding expansion."

In another significant development, Congenica has been working in partnership with Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine (MCGM) to develop analytical tools that will look at the whole of a person’s genome and identify errors that may cause disease. As not all gene mutations are associated with illness and disabilities so the knowledge of the consultants is vital in identifying gene-disease relationships.

Nick Lench, Chief Operating Officer, Congenica, said the funding from the Corridor Growth Fund has had a major positive impact on the company’s development: “The Corridor Growth Fund has made it possible for us to employ two extra researchers to work with Professor Graeme Black’s team in Genetics and Ophthalmology at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This will allow us to translate exciting findings from our joint research into a robust diagnostic test suitable for use with patients.”

Keith Chantler, Executive Director for Industry and Wealth at GM AHSN, said: “One of our key roles at GM AHSN is to boost the economy through supporting companies in developing innovative products for the NHS and helping them to access the support they need to progress these. By helping companies in this way, we are creating really positive outcomes for patients through new and innovative technologies.”

About the Regional Growth Fund

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has supported eligible projects and programmes raising private sector investment to create economic growth and lasting employment. It has invested £2.85 billion to help businesses in England to grow; and is expected to create or safeguard over 580,000 jobs.