On Thursday 12 May, over 170 delegates from across the Midlands came together for the region’s leading Life Sciences business event, Medilink Midlands Innovation Day.
Medilink Midlands is the Midlands Life Science Industry organisation, focused on connectivity, collaboration, serving our members and supporting businesses to establish develop and grow. Working with key strategic partners across the midlands including the Midlands Engine to develop a shared strategy across the region.
Medilink Midlands was both delighted and excited to welcome back the life science community to our first in-person event in two years. The whole day was expertly hosted by Vivienne Parry OBE who managed our speakers, and subsequent panel discussion and ensured audience participation.
Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine headlined the event emphasising the Midlands’ strength in health and life science, the importance of a strategic plan, engaging with Government as one regional voice, raising awareness of the Midlands Med-Tech cluster; and bringing together the spheres of academia, business, the NHS and Government for regional collaboration and success.
The exceptional line up of speakers included Rhys Donovan, Group Marketing Director of Direct Healthcare Group who presented on “How the UK can lead the way in Healthcare Innovation” and Professor Michael Lewis, Joint Director for the NIHR i4I and SBRI Healthcare programmes whose presentation was on the topic of “Do I get my fair share of grant funding?”
Exhibiting for the first time, Medilink Midlands Patron The Anglia Ruskin ARISE Innovation Hub, commented on the wide range of topics presented on the day, and the current and relevant nature of the speakers and presentations.
In addition to the outstanding guest speakers, Innovation Day delegates met with over 30 life science organisations who exhibited at the conference and heard from four Medilink Midlands member companies, including Coventry University, who sponsored Medilink Midlands Innovation Day.
Delegates also learnt all about grant funding available through Medilink Midlands. Businesses in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire or the South East Midlands, can access up to £3,000 for travel – to sector specific events and conferences – and up to £20,000 for the development of products and services. Medilink Midlands business advisers received substantial interest in the grant support.
Member company VUIT Online, used their speaking opportunity to launch their new software, generating a lot of interest from the audience. VUIT stated that Innovation Day provided a fantastic platform from which to launch their new software. Adding that delegate feedback provided industry-critical insight, which would not have otherwise been possible.
Dignio, another Medilink Member company said that presenting at Innovation Day added value and thanked Medilink Midlands for the brand exposure and access to the Medilink network.
Ewa Truchanowicz, Managing Director of Dignio stated that “Medilink knows what businesses need”. Highlighting Medilink’s detailed knowledge of the Midlands life science sector, their close working relationship with business, academia, clinicians and government and their pragmatic nature.
Medilink Midlands acts as a thought leader for the region and Medilink’s power and value is being able to draw the key industry influences together. This was exceptionally apparent at Innovation Day, which saw a panel of five industry leaders discuss how the Midlands can capitalise on future funding and sector development opportunities. The panel discussed the importance of a unified, regional marketing campaign and the value in promoting the region’s collective assets, both at home and abroad.
Medilink was also able to make connections between its members on the day. This included Sterimedix and Turbine Creative and thanks to Medilink Midlands Innovation Day, Medilink Member IMSM will now work with Life Science Group and Shrinker Digital on their ISO certification. IMSM’s David Coulter, Business Manager, said that they were “very pleased” with the strong, high quality leads they generated as a result of Innovation Day and that there were lots of new contacts made on the day.
Professor Martin Levermore MBE, Chair of Medilink Midlands, said: “It was an absolute pleasure for Medilink Midlands to host our Innovation Day. Major events such as this one clearly and tangibly demonstrate our ability to bring the Midlands life sciences sector together, as well as our prominent position within the industry. I was pleased to share Medilink Midlands’ performance and successes to date with our delegates, and to outline our future under our new Chief Executive, Simon Himsworth. We have big plans for Medilink Midlands, and I am confident that Simon and the team will deliver them.”
Vivienne Parry OBE added: “I love hosting the Medilink East Midlands Innovation Day which is why I came back to do it so often. Combining East and West Midlands into one Midlands-wide entity with a combined innovation Day supercharges the event and makes the impact on the regional economy even more likely. I’m a huge fan.”
Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine and headline speaker at Innovation Day, added:
“Midlands Engine partners recognise that if we are to truly deliver our ambition to level up the economy, economic prosperity and good health must exist in tandem. This is the vision that has brought us together for Medilink Midlands Innovation Day – a chance to draw on our region’s wealth of expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in sectors such as MedTech, health data, immunology, genomics, clinical trials, design, regulation and manufacturing. Together, we can seize opportunities for growth in health and life sciences, and address the health inequalities that persist across our region.”