The importance of innovation to future economic recovery has been recognised by the UK Government through a new £1.25bn financial support package for our most creative companies. Fast-growing, equity backed firms have access to £500m matched loan funding. The remainder of the support package will be shared among a thousand additional companies through new Innovate UK grant funding.

The pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life, from the personal (how people live and work) to the professional (how companies interact with their customers, how customers choose and purchase products and services, how supply chains deliver them). In a recent survey of more than 200 organizations across industries, more than 90 percent of executives said they expect the fallout from the crisis to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years, with almost as many asserting that the crisis will have a lasting impact on their customers’ needs. However, more than three-quarters also agreed that the crisis will create significant new opportunities for growth, although this varies significantly by industry.

How are executives responding? As might be expected, they are largely focusing on maintaining business continuity, especially in their core. Executives must weigh cutting costs, driving productivity, and implementing safety measures against supporting innovation-led growth. Unsurprisingly, investment in innovation is suffering. Executives believe that they will return to innovation-related initiatives once the world has stabilized, the core business is secure, and the path forward is clearer.

Our Speakers

Dr Ian Campbell

Dr Ian Campbell

Interim Executive Chair

Innovate UK

Dr Campbell was appointed Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in May 2018, having joined as Director for Health and Life Sciences in 2016. Ian is an experienced executive in life sciences and the diagnostics sector. He served as Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers.

Previously he served as Chief Executive of Imperial College spin-out company Molecular Vision, developing a disposable, quantitative point-of-care diagnostic platform, before being acquired by Abingdon Health in 2012. Ian has also served as Commercial Director with Bespak Europe. Ian has a strong scientific background, gaining his PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Campbell's Presentation

Prof Mark Gillan

Prof Mark Gillan

Chief Technology Officer

Innovate UK

Prof Gillan is responsible for leading the Strategy and Impact and Centres and Networks Governance directorates at Innovate UK. This includes directing delivery of Innovate UK’s strategy, the design and development of Innovate UK’s programmes, ensuring that the organisation incentivises and drives economic growth through business-led innovation.

Mark has held engineering leadership roles in Formula One with McLaren, Jaguar/Red Bull, Toyota and as Head of the Race Team at Williams. He served as CEO of the UK renewable energy firm Wavepower and Head of Innovation and Project Lead for the ex-America’s Cup team Artemis’s autonomous zero emissions commercial maritime vessel programme. A chartered engineer, Mark is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Prof Gillan's Presentation

andrew guild

Andrew Guild

Founder & Director

R3NDER Product Development

Andrew is Director and Co-Founder of a business services firm that accelerates and de-risks product development and commercialisation programmes. He leads cross functional teams of engineers, artists and inventors who are expert in creating and deploying digital twin portfolios for some of the world’s leading brands.

Andrew serves as Committee Chair at Epilepsy Scotland is a Mentor for the Royal Bank of Scotland Business Accelerator Programme.

Andrew Guild's Presentation


Additional Resources

McKinsey & Company - Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever

Innovate UK - Business innovation: what funding you can get and how to apply

Innovate UK - Search for funding opportunities

Enterprise Europe Network - Support for scaling and high growth SMEs

The Knowledge Transfer Network - Funding streams, collaborative partners and markets 

NOW OPEN: Biomedical Catalyst 2020 Round 1 Early & Late Stage Competition

This is an Innovate UK competition for projects led by SMEs or RTOs. The competition will open on the 27th July and close 7th October (details HERE soon) SMEs can apply for grants for £250k to £4M total project costs.

The aim of this competition is to enable companies to create a data package that can support the subsequent testing of their products or carry out evaluations in a clinical setting or other relevant environment. This can include:

• experimental evaluation (at laboratory scale)
• use of in vitro and in vivo models to evaluate proof of concept or safety
• exploring potential production mechanisms
• prototyping
• product development planning
• intellectual property protection
• demonstrating of clinical utility and effectiveness
• demonstrating of safety and efficacy (including phase 1 and 2 clinical trials)
• regulatory planning

Project must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a defined health and care challenge.

Webinar Recording - 7 July 2020