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MidTECH - NHS Innovations West Midlands; Dr David Gleaves, chief executive of MidTECH, outlines the expert assistance the company provides to the region's NHS Trusts and PCTs to assess and commercialise innovations: ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE ON MIDTECH INNOVATIONS.

Byline: Dr David Gleaves

T he ability of NHS organisations, teams and individuals to innovate - to adopt new ideas to meet new challenges - is vital to ensure they continue both to respond to the changing needs of patients and to attract and retain employees.

The NHS originates many new ideas itself - not only from its research & development capability but also from frontline staff who develop solutions to meet current challenges.

In certain cases NHS ideas may contain valuable intellectual property (IP) and lead to commercial solutions that may generate income or lead to costsavings.

As the NHS innovation hub for the West Midlands, MidTECH's primary function is to provide the region's NHS Trusts and PCTs with the expert assistance needed to assess and commercialise innovations and IP. Our performance is measured by the strength of our client base and our success in attracting and commercialising innovations. This includes helping to patent or otherwise protect the ideas, linking up with industries that may help to commercialise them - and aiming to ensure that a share of the profits go to the inventor and the NHS Trust where the projects were born.

Client Trusts across the West Midlands region benefit from our cost-effective innovation management and exploitation services and we assist NHS employees with a broad spectrum of innovations. These range from medical devices and technologies to software and training materials.

We work within a wide range of areas from low to high tech, for example, we were approached by a physiotherapist rehabilitation engineer from the south Birmingham PCT who had developed a mechanism to lift a wheelchair into a car. There's a strong dependence between your mobility and your independence, and the availability of someone who's able to lift your wheelchair. Ideally, it will be available to the NHS, but also to individuals.

In more high tech innovation Professor Monica Spiteri has developed a diagnostic kit for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She's analysing the sputum as a means of determining if you can detect the presence of COPD using a fourier transform infrared spectrometer. If the trial is successful, it will enable a new idea to be taken forward into product.

MidTECH works on behalf of client Trusts to evaluate an idea and ensure any associated intellectual property is protected. If appropriate, we will then help to develop it and broker a deal with a suitable industrial partner, with the aim of commercialising the product for the benefit of the inventor, the Trust, the NHS and its patients.

This could take the form of a licence, joint venture, or spin out. Since its formation in 2004, MidTECH has assessed over 300 innovations and concluded over 35 intellectual property and licence agreements.

For any IP related questions please call 0121 455 0346 or visit www.

midtech.org.uk for more information about the work that MidTECH does in the West Midlands region.."Client Trusts across the West Midlands region benefit from our costeffective innovation management and exploitation services DR DAVID GLEAVES

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Dr David Gleaves, chief executive of MidTECH
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 22, 2009
Words:508
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