Medilink East Midlands, the Life Science Support Organisation for the region, will now be able to offer even more support to East Midlands medical technology, pharmaceutical and bioscience organisations, following the launch of a new project, ‘SoLSTICE’, within the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) region. The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is complimentary to the recently launched INSTILS project in the D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire) area.
SoLSTICE: Smart Life Sciences Technology Innovation & Commercialisation Enabler will focus on promoting research and innovation and follows on from Medilink’s highly successful Healthcare and Bioscience iNet project. This ran from 2008-2015, supported over 1000 companies to develop innovative new products and services, and was also part-funded by ERDF.
SoLSTICE has been developed to address some key market challenges including the need to access innovation-active SMEs with growth potential; the need to boost entrepreneurial activity and the need to simplify access to innovation funding and support. Through the project, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Leicestershire will be able to gain access to life science sector specific expertise as well as grant funding and networking opportunities. This support will ensure that innovative new products benefit from cutting edge technologies, identified clinical needs, and early incorporation of regulatory and IP management strategies. All of this will lead to improved commerciality of products, reduced product development timescales and the creation of potentially ground breaking healthcare innovations.
Dr Darren Clark, Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands, commented;
“The launch of this project will come at a really welcome time for East Midlands Life Science organisations. SoLSTICE will allow Medilink and its partners to support innovation and research throughout Leicester and Leicestershire, in the same way that INSTILS, which we were pleased to launch last month, serves the D2N2 area. Both projects mean that not only can we offer companies and entrepreneurs the sector specific support they need, but can also once again provide them with access to vital funding.”
The project builds on collaborations that have been successfully established across the business, university and NHS communities, highlighted by the inclusion of the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust as Delivery Partners.
David Wright, Manager LLEP Business Gateway, the Growth Hub for Leicester and Leicestershire, said,
“Life Sciences is a key sector for growth in Leicestershire. We’ve got world-class industry and research expertise across the County; it’s fantastic that businesses can get expert support to help tap into this, alongside much needed funding to accelerate their growth.”
The Leicester and Leicestershire Growth Hub is a single source of business support information and free advice for Leicester and Leicestershire businesses.
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About SoLSTICE: Smart Life Sciences Technology Innovation & Commercialisation Enabler
SoLSTICE is an initiative, which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Medilink East Midlands. The key aims of SoLSTICE are to deliver high quality innovation support, work alongside emerging Life Science technologies, enable transfer of technologies between sectors and increase Research & Development investment.
About the European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving up to £500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
About the LLEP Business Gateway
The LLEP Business Gateway is the Business Growth Hub for Leicester and Leicestershire. This ‘one-stop shop’ provides a signposting and referral service to the many forms of local and national business support services available to businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire. It provides information on a range of business topics including: starting a business, growing a business, access to finance, hiring and training and premises and investing. To find out more visit www.llepbizgateway.co.uk
The LLEP Business Gateway is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
About Medilink East Midlands
Medilink East Midlands is the region’s life science industry association, whose aim is to help companies establish, develop and grow. Its network of more than 4,400 contacts in over 1000 organisations represents all aspects of the sector, including private and public institutions; from multinationals to high potential start-ups, as well as the NHS and universities.
Medilink East Midlands is a founding member of Medilink UK; a national network supporting over 3,000 companies across the entire UK. Medilink provides specialist support to boost the region’s economic output from life sciences by overcoming barriers to growth. Medilink’s highly knowledgeable team is a proven and trusted source of expert assistance.