The future of MedTech explored by healthcare and technology leaders at business summit

As part of Top Business Tech’s partnership with Empact Ventures and the Virtual Northern Future of MedTech Summit, experts from the world-leading North of England MedTech cluster and beyond explored the challenges and opportunities within the sector at the first Virtual Northern MedTech Summit.

Hundreds of delegates attended the summit which featured over 50 leading healthcare and technology speakers including a keynote from prominent scientist Professor Sir John Tooke.

Rethinking MedTech collaborations

The Virtual Northern MedTech Summit brought together experts and innovators in the MedTech space to encourage collaboration and to seek solutions in the sector, at a time when the need for innovation within healthcare is more important than ever during the pandemic.

The summit was delivered by the National Institute for Health Research Surgical MedTech Co-operative, Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and the University of Leeds, supported by global super connectors Empact Ventures.

More than 275 people in 20+ countries from across NHS, academia and industry attended the summit on January 28, 2021, which featured nine roundtable sessions offering deep dives into the current challenges and opportunities in AI, surgical innovations, levelling up in MedTech, maximising MedTech adoption and the benefits of collaboration.

Keynote Speaker on sharing and learning in MedTech during the pandemic

Keynote speaker, Professor Sir John Tooke, a clinician scientist and NHSA board member, said: “The COVID pandemic has presented the health and life sciences sector with many challenges, but also opportunities to develop and implement innovation at speed and scale. Sharing ideas and learning with professionals across the healthcare space is crucial as the country recovers from the pandemic, and the MedTech sector will play an important role within this.”

Vee Mapunde, Programme Director of the National Institute for Health Research Surgical MedTech Co-operative, commented: “This meeting was the perfect opportunity for MedTech startups to connect with important players in the innovation system and to learn more about best practice for MedTech collaborations. We partnered with the NHSA and Empact Ventures to deliver an engaging summit that showcased the North and stimulated discussion on driving MedTech collaborations for patient benefit. The NIHR Surgical MIC also launched its Translational Toolkit to make it clearer to startups when they should be approaching key organisations for input.”

Dr Ben Martyn, Cluster Development Manager at the Northern Health Science Alliance, commented:
“At a time when the NHS continues to face unprecedented challenges and we look ahead to recovery post-COVID, collaboration and partnership working has never been more important. The Virtual Northern MedTech Summit showcased the MedTech excellence we have in the North of England and provided a fantastic platform to share ideas, learn from each other, and to encourage collaborations.

“I was delighted with the turnout we had throughout the day, with over 275 people engaging on some of the most pressing issues to drive Medtech innovation forward in our region and beyond. It’s the NHSA’s mission to bring together individuals from industry, clinical and academic backgrounds to grow the Northern life sciences cluster and it was brilliant to see so many people engaging with that mission at the summit.”

The wider MedTech cluster in the north and networking

Kosta Mavroulakis, Founder & CEO of Empact Ventures, added: “It has been an honour to work with the NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative and the Northern Health Science Alliance to run the Virtual Northern MedTech Summit with hundreds of people in attendance from across the world. I’d like to thank all our 50+ speakers and 15 MedTech start-ups and scale-ups for volunteering their time to share their expertise and insights with our audience. In particular, I’ve been most impressed by the infrastructure, support networks and the wider MedTech cluster in the North which is clearly one of the leading areas in the UK.”

Future of Medtech Panel
Matthew Hughes of Top Business Tech chairing the panel on Future of Medtech

Other speakers who took part in the nine roundtables at the summit, include: Professor Neil Sebire (Chief Research Information Officer for Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust); Dr Christopher Herbert (Director of Operations, Research & Innovation at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust); James Alford (Innovation Director at GSK); Richard Stubbs (Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network); Vee Mapunde (Programme Director at National Institute for Health Research Surgical MedTech Co-operative); and the NHSA’s Dr Mandy Dixon (Head of Corporate Engagement), Dr Ben Martyn (Cluster Development Manager), Helen Cole (Industry Partnerships Manager) and Farida Charania (Project Leader, X0PA AI – Empauwer initiative).

MedTech start-ups connecting

The Summit’s audience heard from the top five MedTech startups and scale-ups from the recent Super Connect for Good competition, selected by NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative team, who pitched for new collaborations in the healthcare sector. These included: QV Bioelectronics based in Manchester; Bold Health based in London; My mhealth based in Bournemouth; CanSense based in Swansea; and GlycanAge in London.

Digital Future of MedTech exhibition

In addition, there was also a digital exhibition of 15 leading HealthTech and MedTech startups and scale-ups from the nationwide Super Connect for Good initiative. These included the five companies above plus: TapSOS based in Belfast; Immersive Rehab based in London; MySense based in London; Kids Speech Labs based in Dublin; V & V Health Innovations based in Leeds; Alcuris based in Leicester; VR Revival based in London; Neatebox based in Glasgow and CBRT Health Systems based in Bournemouth.

Image 1: Professor Sir John Tooke, was the keynote speaker for the day alongside a panel and host Kosta Mavroulakis (Founder and CEO, Empact Ventures)

Videos and images of the presentations and roundtable sessions from the summit will be published later this month at:


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Bekki Barnes

With 5 years’ experience in marketing, Bekki has knowledge in both B2B and B2C marketing. Bekki has worked with a wide range of brands, including local and national organisations.

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