Innovation Labs 2023: Call for Academics

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Future events, News | 0 comments

Diagnostics in Healthcare Innovation Lab: Overcoming business challenges with academic collaborations


Together with the Business Engagement Team, the Biomedical Research Centre and the Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator (DiTA)  at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Translation Manchester are running an Innovation Lab taking place on Wednesday 17 May 2023 focused on the theme of Diagnostics in healthcare. The event is aimed at initiating and pump priming research projects co-developed by industry and academics addressing specific business challenges around Diagnostics and Healthcare. Over the course of the facilitated workshop, project plans will be developed by invited academics and industry partners, and pitched to a panel of experts for seed funding. We will pump prime up to 4 projects at £20k each.

What areas are covered by the business challenges?

  • Use of a diagnostic technology utilising DNA sequencing in the field of oncology, infectious disease and transplant testing
  • Use of imaging biomarkers for patient stratification
  • Use of diagnostic tool for risk stratification of patients undergoing CAR-T therapy
  • Biosensor development to determine drug adherence, actual drug dose
  • Evaluation of a non-invasive point of care diagnostic for respiratory diseases

We have now received challenges from our business partners, and we are actively seeking for academics to join the event. If you wish to find out more about this initiative, and want to take part in the workshop for an opportunity to develop industry collaborations and secure pump priming funding, Get in touch by Friday 10th March 2023 by emailing

When getting in touch please provide:

  1. Your position, including Faculty, School, Department
  2. The challenge area(s) you are interested in (from the list above)
  3. The expertise that you can bring to solve the challenges

How does it work?

  • The Innovation Labs follow a facilitated process led by a creative consultancy.
  • At each Lab we host 3-5 industry partners, working in teams of 4-6, with cross-discipline academic groups.
  • We work through defining the problem and generating a range of solutions, before concluding with the optimal project, which will be pitched to our expert panel for seed funding.
  • There is a strong emphasis on scoping for future large scale funding opportunities.

What is the benefit (or purpose)?

  • Successful, trusted model for business-academic collaboration; benefits from previous events can be found here.
  • Development of new cross-disciplinary relationships within the university.
  • Enhancing academic-business engagement by developing tangible project plans.
  • Seed-funding of £20,000 for successful projects
  • Opportunity for ECRs to provide academic expertise to help a business overcome a hurdle in their research.

What do we need from Academic researchers?

  • To attend with an open mind and collaborative approach to working with business and academics from other disciplines.
  • Share your knowledge and expertise with businesses to help combat challenges that they face in society.
  • Commit to attend the half-day workshop and any follow up project work.
  • University support to help with growing collaborations into larger research funding proposals.