As part of the Super Connect for Good Competition supported by Global Good, our Editor-in-Chief Kosta Mavroulakis caught up with one of its Innovation Partners and Judges in Portsmouth (UK)
Please introduce yourself, your organisation and your role
I have a wealth of experience supporting collaboration between business and academia. For over 10 years I managed a number of University funding schemes at the University of Southampton, including the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, Knowledge Transfer Secondments programme, and the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme. Prior to this, I undertook a part-time PhD in ancient history.
For a number of years, I have also been running my own bid writing and collaboration support company. In my current role at the University of Portsmouth, I am Director of HealthTech and take a lead role in business engagement for the SIGHT programme, developing academic, clinical and business partnerships and growing the network internationally.
What are some of the most pressing social issues that your organisation is working to address through its technology?
Health inequality, easier access to new technology and enabling innovators to move from idea to invention more easily.
How does your organisation support and/or work with startups and scaleups at present
SIGHT is a business support programme developed by the University of Portsmouth to provide help and guidance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the healthcare technology sector.
The programme provides SMEs with the insight and specific evidence required to ensure their products meet real, identified market needs along with the necessary guidance and support to enter and expand in new healthcare markets.
What are you looking for from the applicants and what tips would you give them?
Game-changing innovation, clinical engagement and insight in product design and development, engagement with patient voices, and clear route maps for development and delivery.
In your opinion, what impact will technology have in creating a better future? To what extent do you feel that tech startups and scaleups can contribute to society’s greatest challenges
The NHS is the largest customer of medical technologies in the UK and serves more than 60 million patients. Within the Wessex region, which encompasses the Solent LEP, 10% of the workforce is employed in the health economy. With more than 300 health and life science companies focused on medical technological innovation, SIGHT (Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies) provides an important boost to the regional economy through its support of this sector.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and fundamental to innovation in the UK, and it is thus of great importance that these entrepreneurial entities are supported and nurtured in order to provide next-generation solutions to our healthcare challenges.
Earlier this year the SIGHT Programme and Innovate UK EDGE South East ran the HealthTech Acceleration Symposium and Matchmaking Event in March 2023 powered by Empact Ventures