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Research & development

British health tech incubator seeks Canadian partners

A new business incubator for biotechnology, medical devices and healthcare informatics has opened at the Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge, England. Itís said to be the first located at a hospital in the U.K., and the first with a concentration on cardiac-related areas of expertise.

Situated near the world-famous Cambridge University and the Sanger Institute, the incubator is welcoming North American companies. Organizers of the bioincubator say companies will benefit from expertise at the hospital and nearby educational institutions.

The region contains 67 Health Care Trusts, which form a considerable base of potential customers. Moreover, the U.K. is a convenient launching pad for business ventures in Europe.

The cardiothoracic incubator has been developed with an investment of £2 million. Management hopes to attract companies engaged in the development of new medical devices and technologies for the treatment of cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

These companies will include spin-offs from research previously carried out at the hospital and local universities, or firms which would benefit from working on a U.K. National Health Service site.

The incubator provides a total space of 1,200 square metres of commercial space to be broken down into units.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is the driving force behind economic regeneration in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. It is one of the main investors in the new bioincubator, along with the Papworth Hospital.

For its part, Papworth Hospital is the world famous heart and lung centre based in this region. It provides the full range of adult services in cardiac surgery, cardiology, thoracic surgery and medicine to people who live in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire. It also delivers highly specialized heart-lung services to the national population and established the U.K.ís first transplant program and performed the U.K.ís first successful heart transplant in 1979.

Dr Peter Blenkinsop (pictured above), chief executive of Health Enterprise East, visited Canada last fall, visiting the Ontario Hospital Associationís HealthAchieve Convention, as well as the Hospital for Sick Children and St. Michaelís Hospital.

He said the Papworth cardiothoracic incubator is providing business support and mentoring services including intellectual property, accountancy, funding, regulatory affairs and networking opportunities.

Several units have been let, the most recent to a company from the United States conducting clinical trails and research in conjunction with the hospital. The incubator can accommodate a further 12 companies and applications would be welcome from companies in the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as the U.K.

For more information or to discuss your requirements in detail, please contact Mike Beer on 01962 771515. (Email: or Jackie Yates on 01480 364388. (Email: