Image of accelerometer, used for the detection of abnormal heart movement in patients
A consortium of four universities led by Edinburigh-based Heriot-Watt has been awarded investment from the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF) to create a new centre for medical device development and manufacture in Scotland, providing small- and medium-size companies (SMEs) with an enabling step towards first in-patient studies.
The £3.7 million Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund managed by Scottish Enterprise, the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal and the universities.
Its mission is to provide expert advice on manufacturing engineering, regulatory issues and funding, coupled with technically supported access to manufacturing facilities, to assist SMEs in the translation of medical device concepts through to small-batch commercial prototypes.
MDMC, based in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, is a close collaboration between engineers, clinicians and business development experts from the four universities: Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Robert Gordon, with track records in manufacturing, testing and clinical translation of medical devices.
In partnership with medical device design companies, clinicians, and patient groups, MDMC will seek to translate engineering and clinical know-how to ensure that medical device manufacture is both practical and commercially viable.
MDMC is led by Professor Duncan Hand and Professor Marc Desmulliez from the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences. They are being supported by a management team from across the participating universities, including clinical lead Professor Fiona Denison at the University of Edinburgh.
The partnership is planned with medical device design companies, clinicians, and patient groups, to ensure that medical device manufacture is both practical and commercially viable. It will be driven by unmet clinical and industrial needs.
Professor Hand said: “The MDMC builds on many years of experience of manufacturing and medical device research across the universities and will benefit Scotland by helping innovative Scottish SMEs develop and deliver solutions to clinical needs."
MDMC is currently reaching out to engage with a broad range of SMEs in Scotland working in medical device manufacturing and is encouraging them to come forward with their manufacturing-related requirements.
Professor Desmulliez said: “In these difficult times where the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to shut down, the MDMC is eager to assist and help SMEs in their commercial recovery. Heriot-Watt, with its very long tradition in manufacturing and strong links with industry, is ideally placed to achieve this goal.“
To ensure it delivers to its optimum effect, MDMC is supported by an independent advisory group consisting of representatives from the NHS, regulatory and clinical trials experts, medical device companies and clinicians.