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New centre boosts Scottish biomedical sector


A new research centre to develop and manufacture medical devices in Scotland has been launched.

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) will provide expert advice to small and medium sized companies to support them in the advancement and production of medical devices that are crucial for the clinical care of patients.

The MDMC is being launched thanks to £3.7 million funding from the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund, which is managed by Scottish Enterprise, the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal, Heriot-Watt University, Robert Gordon University and the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This initial funding will help to leverage further investment from industry and other funding partners.

As one of the key partners of the Centre, Edinburgh will lead the drive to engage with healthcare SMEs companies to support them in the development of devices that will improve people’s lives, from initial concept to the production of small batches of prototypes.

Professor Fiona Denison, Chair of Translational Obstetrics at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Reproductive Health and Clinical Lead for the Centre said ” I am really excited by the opportunity to create a world leading Centre for medical device development and manufacturing which will enable Scottish SMEs to accelerate to first-in-patient-studies. As clinical lead, my role in the MDMC will be to link SMEs to the medical profession in Scotland and to play an integral role in the pathway to translation for healthcare innovations.”

The MDMC, led by Heriot-Watt University, will see engineers, clinicians and business development experts from the four universities working together to provide SMEs companies with expert advice on manufacturing engineering, regulatory issues and sources of funding.

The new facility will also offer companies access to manufacturing facilities from at its site on Heriot-Watt’s campus.

The Centre is currently engaging with a broad range of SMEs companies in Scotland from the medical device manufacturing sector to encourage them to partner with the facility for their manufacturing-related requirements.

Professor Alistair Elfick Head of the Institute for Bioengineering and Engineering Lead for the project at the University of Edinburgh added ” The MDMC’s concentration of engineering and clinical expertise, manufacturing tools and ambitious vision promises to act as a powerful catalyst for Scotland’s development of its biomedical sector.”

Partnerships are also planned with medical device design companies, clinicians, and patient groups, to ensure that medical device manufacture is both practical and commercially viable. It will be driven by unmet clinical and industrial needs.

The Centre will be supported by an Independent Advisory Group consisting of representatives from the NHS, regulatory and clinical trials experts, medical device companies and clinicians to ensure it delivers optimum results.