YORKSHIRE could be on the brink of becoming a world leader in healthcare technology, a fast growing sector that can boost exports and save lives, a major business event will be told.
NorthInvest, the angel investment platform, is hosting a healthtech investment summit in Leeds, which will bring together business leaders to promote the region as one of the UK’s biggest innovation hubs.
The Healthtech Investment Summit, which is being held at Bruntwood’s new tech hub Platform in Leeds on February 6, aims to encourage more healthcare technology firms to establish a base in the region.
The speakers at the event will include Dr Laura Bond, the investment lead at Accelerated Digital Ventures, Dr Simon Graindorge, the director of healthcare at IP Group, Professor Gary Shuckford, the director at Edenbridge Healthcare, Charlotte Thompson, who is a specialist in accessing finance at the Knowledge Transfer Network and Dr Ceri Williams, the director of research and innovation development at the University of Leeds.
The debate will be moderated by Bernard Ginns, the director at Branksome Partners.
Professor John Fisher, who is a board director of NorthInvest, professor of mechanical engineering at Leeds University, and co-founder of Tissue Regenix, said growth in the healthtech sector could boost the region’s economic performance and improve patient care.
He said: “Medical and health care technologies are a critically important sector in the Leeds City Region and the Yorkshire economy, and the region is recognised as a UK concentration of excellence, with a strong industry base and a track record of innovative applications in the regional healthcare system.
“The 2017 Medtech Science and Innovation Audit Report, published by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, showed 8 per cent of UK medtech research funding, 9 per cent of medtech patents and 22 per cent of UK digital health jobs in the Leeds city Region.
“The report also predicts 50 per cent growth in global medtech markets by 2025, with a transformation of 21st century medtech products and services with substantial growth in convergent technologies, combination devices and therapies and in digital health technology.”
Professor Fisher said the region is ideally placed to grow the medtech sector in the coming years and potentially contribute a further £1bn a year to the region’s economy by 2025.
He added: “The Office of Life Sciences Strategy and Sector Deal, published just before Christmas, highlighted £150m of investments over the last five years in research, innovation and skills and described the emerging ambition of the region to develop plans for further investments of £200m to support medtech innovation over the next five years.
He continued: “A strong entrepreneurial and innovative regional investment community is an essential part of these plans to deliver ambitious economic growth and improved healthcare provision and patient outcomes.”
NorthInvest is a not for profit company that is owned by its investors and mentor members and aims to promote equitable investment across the North of the UK.
It specialises in fintech, healthtech, cyber and digital media with the aim of supporting businesses within the Northern Powerhouse.
A spokesman said the event, which is taking place in collaboration with Leeds City Region MedTech and Branksome Partners, and sponsored by Calls9, will bring together stakeholders within the health and med-tech space to assess the growth potential of the region, and highlight the local routes to finance.
The spokesman added: “It aims to boost connectivity, while providing thought-provoking context through a series of investment case studies and discussions from the panel.”
NORTHINVest has been created to connect investors to people with great ideas.
Based in Leeds and Manchester, it provides expertise in areas including cyber security and healthtech.
A spokesman said: “Our excess revenue, after deducting very lean running costs, goes into a fund to provide grants for tech-for-good enterprise.”
The NorthInvest board includes: Dr Adam Beaumont, the CEO of Leeds-based aql, Dr Richard Arning, the vice president for business development, SES Satellites, Graham Pearce, corporate finance director at KPMG, and Helen Oldham, the former chief publishing officer of Johnston Press, who is the founder of GrowandThrive.co.uk.