Innovation good practice

Browse through our range of guides and practical tools, developed from the outcomes of some of our major innovation programmes and initiatives. RG add info on medtech programmes

An academic’s guide to medtech translation

Innovate faster, develop better technologies, reduce risk.

This online guide is designed for academics and researchers and will be useful for anyone with an interest in medical technologies innovation and translation, with a focus for innovators based in higher education or research institutions.

Throughout this guide, we will give an overview of the medtech innovation pathway, common hurdles and pitfalls, and case studies of successful translation to equip you with the right skills and information to support you on your translational journey.

Our expertise in this field was developed through the Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) established by the University of Leeds in 2009, and through Grow MedTech, a consortium of six universities set up in 2018.

Through these programmes, and working with our industry partners, we’ve progressed over 250 projects (proof of concept or technology development and demonstration), of which 84 have gone beyond Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 – with over 50 products or services reaching the market.

How this guide can help you

As an academic and researcher, your career ambition may well be to make an impact. partnering with a company, working with patients to develop solutions, or setting up a business can be a way of achieving this long-term impact. The reason you choose to translate your research may not always be for financial returns: it can be an effective way to enhance and sustain research activities after initial funding ends. Commercialisation of your developments can be the most effective way to ensure innovative technologies and treatments maximise the benefit for patients and health services by making those innovations widely available and sustainable.

Translating research can distinguish you and your work from your peers, while also making an extensive, positive impact on society.

Translating research in medical technologies is complex, with many phases, challenges and regulatory considerations. It takes a team, with involvement from many specialists to successfully translate research into a new product or service for patient benefit.

This guide provides practical advice to help you navigate the innovation pathway for medical technologies and will signpost you to appropriate support and resources available for each stage.

Support to develop your business case

The guide is broken down into accessible units, relevant to the different stages of your innovation journey. You can start at the beginning and work to the end or select where you are in your innovation journey and learn from there.

In each chapter you will find information, guidance and further resources relevant to academics in the UK. The guide has been co-funded by the University of Leeds, so there’s also specific guidance for participants from Leeds to follow.

There is a checklist at the end of each chapter to help build your business plan. Business plans are an essential tool that can be used in a multitude of ways – in funding applications, to attract collaborators, commercial partners, and investors. Information from the reflective tasks can be used to inform the development of your business plan, which will become a living document and asset as you navigate your innovation journey.

Link to guide

Low cost, flexible, proof of market funding: A good practice guide for successful innovation

This good practice guide is for knowledge exchange and commercialisation leaders and practitioners, and will be useful for anyone with an interest in innovation translation based in a higher education institutional setting.

In this guide we explain the benefits of proof of market awards and how to gather the data to determine whether a technology has the potential to be successful in a given market. By offering a funding package that could be used in a flexible and dynamic way – dependent on the needs and stages of the projects rather than a typical proof of market award – we have found that technologies stand a better chance of moving to the next stage of development and attracting further investment.

Low cost, flexible, proof of market funding: A good practice guide for success

10 Steps to building an effective multi-partner consortium

This free collection of animated insights introduces approaches to building a successful multi-partner consortium.

By combining the different strengths of our partner universities in medical and related digital technologies, innovation and commercialisation, we provided capacity and capability in medtech that far exceeded that offered by a single institution.

In this content we share our practices and approaches for building an effective consortium, which in our experience, enabled us to scale our activities more effectively. This guide is useful for academics and knowledge exchange practitioners.

10 Steps to building an effective multi-partner consortium

Bridging the innovation funding gap: Maximising proof of concept success

This free good-practice guide for knowledge exchange and commercialisation professionals introduces a new, holistic approach to proof of concept schemes for any sector.

Bridging the innovation funding gap: Maximising proof of concept success

From good to great: What makes a great innovation funding proposal

Funding applications can be daunting, whether it is for large or small sums of money. And they can make or break a project. Grow MedTech’s Opportunity Management Panel answer questions on what takes an innovation funding proposal from good to great. This guide is useful for academics, researchers and knowledge exchange practitioners.

From good to great: What makes a great innovation funding proposal

Big innovation, small budget: Running a successful secondment scheme

This good practice guide for knowledge exchange and commercialisation practitioners explains how temporary placement of academic, industrial, clinical and other collaborators on a shorter-term basis, with a small amount of budget, can lead to significant innovation and knowledge exchange outcomes. The guide is applicable to any sector area.

Big innovation, small budget: Running a successful secondment scheme

Investment-ready early-stage tech innovation

This good-practice guide for knowledge exchange and commercialisation practitioners explains how focusing on early-stage innovation in a proactive way – through activities that identify problems, generate new ideas, and build productive teams – leads technology innovation projects to success and later-stage adoption.

Investment-ready early-stage tech innovation