MediCity will celebrate the first anniversary of its opening this week by welcoming eight new companies to the site on the Boots site in Beeston, which is part of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone. In its first year the UK’s rapidly expanding innovation hub for health, beauty and wellness entrepreneurs has attracted 31 ambitious new or expanding companies who between them employ over 80 staff.
The latest companies to base themselves at MediCity are involved in a range of commercial activities. Those engaged in technology innovation are:
- NuVision, a University of Nottingham spin-out company developing ground-breaking treatments to tackle blindness. The company’s first product Omnigen™, is a bandage which aids the regeneration and healing of the eye and is about to start clinical testing. Omnigen™ is expected to be ready for use in surgery and as an acute emergency dressing by mid-2015. The company has a portfolio of pipeline medical technologies under development.
- All Natural Cosmetics Ltd addresses the potential infection risk to diabetics who are affected by dry, cracked skin. The company has developed natural and organic soaps which moisturise as well as protect the skin from bacterial and fungal infections. The intention is to introduce the same technologies to a wider range of skin and haircare products and to base manufacturing at MediCity.
- SmartSensor telemed Ltd aims to help reverse the increase in diabetes and cardiovascular disease by providing the World’s first home-use kit for performing the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This is the only test that can detect gestational diabetes in pregnancy, a major threat for both mother and baby and currently affecting 18% of pregnancies. Whilst this provides the initial focus for SmartSensor, the main market will be in population screening for prediabetes and diabetes. The company has developed a Cloud-based Near Field Communication platform to collect and analyse the data.
- Minotz by Veloscient Limited is a collaborative platform that enables mobile devices to become fast and powerful data capture tools for front-line healthcare professionals. Minotz is a complementary cross platform solution that enhances and optimises existing IT and EHR investments and improves the long term efficiency of patient care. The company is looking to develop commercial relationships through MediCity and other tenant companies.
- Moveabl is a new chronic disease service platform from Newcastle University, delivered through a suite of mobile and digital tools and one-to-one personal coaching sessions. By using best practice behaviour change techniques as well as physical activity education, Moveabl supports individuals to lose weight and keep it off as a means of reducing disease risk and managing chronic conditions. The platform will go into clinical trial in early 2015.
- Professor Djuro Koruga, Head of Nanotechnology at Belgrade University is co-founder and Chief Scientist of two companies joining MediCity. Tumour Trace tackles the early diagnosis of cancer which in turn can save lives as well as money. The second company, Nano Lense, addresses the problems caused by modern living and exposure to light intensities and frequencies beyond that of natural light. The company has developed a patented coating on lenses which reduces damaging light frequencies whilst maintaining those that are beneficial not only for healthy vision but also for healthy brain function.
- Edwards Accountants is joining the growing number of support professionals based in MediCity. With offices in the West Midlands, the company has opened a Nottingham base in the business incubator to provide general financial expertise as well as specialist knowledge of the tax reliefs and incentives available to technology companies.
Owners of these recent arrivals will join delegates for MediCity Innovators’ Week which kicks off tomorrow [18 November] exploring possible new approaches to the diagnosis and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart health, dementia, cystic fibrosis, narcolepsy and obesity. A packed schedule across the week combines keynote presentations, interactive workshops, a Dragons Den-style competition, fitness demonstrations and themed exhibits. MediCity Innovators’ Week is free to attend for anyone from across the UK interested in proactive health and wellbeing, as well as entrepreneurs keen to find the next generation of products or services which address the healthcare issues of the future.
David Browning, Director of MediCity, says: “Having such strong and ambitious entrepreneurs working alongside each other means we are starting to see people discussing collaborative projects. As they all come together to take part in Innovators’ Week I can imagine some thought-provoking conversations over coffee.
“The addition of eight new companies as we head into this year’s event convinces me that we are well on our way to creating the kind of business ecosystem so evident in the other BioCity group of incubators.”
Mark Chivers, Enterprise Zone Director, Alliance Boots, “We are delighted to welcome these new tenants to MediCity. With 31 companies now on board, our vision to create a hub for health and wellness innovation is being realised. Teams from across Alliance Boots are looking forward to participating in Innovators’ Week and being involved in the sessions with all the other participants. ”
For the full programme, registration details, directions and parking advice, go to http://www.biocity.co.uk/events/medicity/innovatorsweek2014
Company comments on joining MediCity:
Dr Andrew Hopkinson, Chief Scientific Officer for NuVision: “We chose to base our business in MediCity because it can offer the required standard of physical facilities, expertise and reputable tenancy profile to support NuVision to become a successful ophthalmic biotech, especially during the critical start-up phase. MediCity provides a unique support hub for local businesses so that we belong to a community rather than a simple base of operations.”
Dr Julita Geary, Owner and CEO, of All Natural Products: “I am excited to be taking a laboratory in such a prestigious building and to be surrounded by a team who can help support my business. The Next Business Generation programme has enabled me to reach this stage and now I feel ready to develop further under the MediCity umbrella.”
James Jackson, Chief Executive of SmartSensor: “We know MediCity will provide us with access to crucial market intelligence and to experts in the retail pharmacy sector where tackling diabetes is a priority. Having business and funding advice will also enable the company to accelerate quickly to meet market demand.”
Veloscient Chief Executive, Simon Currey: “MediCity is a fantastic resource with its connections into the care and health business community. At a time when the NHS is looking for budget savings, a disruptive technology such as minotz is desperately needed to reduce the time taken on paperwork and record-keeping. MediCity provides just the kind of entrepreneurial environment in which we can thrive.”
Professor Mike Trenell, Director of MoveLab: "We are delighted to be a part of MediCity during an exciting time for innovation within the healthcare industry. This partnership will play a crucial part in the development of the Moveabl digital platform, as well as our extended suite of chronic disease and wellbeing management programmes."
Professor Koruga, founder of Tumout Trace and Nano Lense: "We believe MediCity is unique in Europe with its relationships with Boots UK and BioCity, an increasing community of nanotechnology expertise and a world class facility. It makes absolute sense for us to be nowhere else but here."
Neil Taylor, Director and Head of the Technology Division for Edwards Accountants: “The opportunity to open a new office in MediCity could not be missed. We share the vision of a close community pooling ideas and helping to accelerate the commercialisation of new technologies. We are really looking forward to becoming a key member of this new and vibrant health and innovation hub.”