Diagnostics in Healthcare Innovation Lab 2023

by | May 30, 2023 | BRC, News, Past events | 0 comments

Advancing Collaborative Solutions for Business Challenges

In collaboration with the Business engagement team at the University of Manchester, the The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator (DiTA) at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Bruntwood SciTech, and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Translation Manchester hosted an Innovation Labs themed around Diagnostics in Healthcare. The event was funded by the Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership award, the NIHR Manchester BRC, and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Manchester.

The Diagnostics in Healthcare Innovation Lab, held on Wednesday, 17th May 2023 at City Labs 1.0 in Manchester, brought together academia, businesses, and professional support staff. The primary aim of this event was to foster collaboration and address specific business challenges within the diagnostics sector. The lab successfully facilitated the formation of four new academic-industry collaborations, each receiving initial funding of £20,000, pending the submission of detailed project plans.

Business Challenges:

During the lab, four invited businesses presented their current challenges in the area of diagnostics. The challenges were on the following areas:

  1. Use of a diagnostic technology utilizing DNA sequencing in the field of oncology, infectious disease, and transplant testing:
  2. Utilization of imaging biomarkers for patient stratification: This challenge involved exploring the use of imaging biomarkers to better stratify patients, enabling more personalized and targeted diagnostic approaches.
  3. Development of a diagnostic tool for risk stratification of patients undergoing CAR-T therapy.
  4. Evaluation of a non-invasive point-of-care diagnostic for respiratory diseases: This challenge involved evaluating and advancing the development of a non-invasive point-of-care diagnostic tool for respiratory diseases, enabling early detection and timely interventions.

The Power of Collaboration:

The 4 businesses were matched with 22 academic experts from across the University. The Innovation Lab format exemplified the power of collaboration, leveraging the collective expertise of academics and the practical insights of businesses. The participants co-developed, during a facilitated brainstorming session lead by FutureEverything, innovative solutions to address the particular business challenges and enhance diagnostics in healthcare.

These innovative solutions were then pitched to a panel of esteemed experts. This panel of innovation specialists and diagnostics experts from across the University and the Manchester NHS trust and the NIHR Manchester BRC, evaluated the proposed projects. As a testament to innovative potential of all 4 projects, each was offered £20,000 of funding in principle, subject to submission of a full research plan.

The event showcased the power of collaboration as experts from academia and industry joined forces to address pressing challenges brought in by the businesses. The funding offered in principle to the four projects represents a significant milestone, setting the stage for future collaborations leading to follow on funding opportunities working towards potential advancements in diagnostics. The success of the event was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership award, the NIHR Manchester BRC, and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Manchester.

Some images from the event are available in the gallery below: