Research England awards just under £1.5m for new Herts-led, life sciences partnership helping to advance healthcare technologies

 12 October 2023 12 October 2023
23 October 2023

A new, University of Hertfordshire-led, life sciences partnership has been awarded just under £1.5m by Research England

A University of Hertfordshire-led life sciences partnership has been awarded just under £1.5m by Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) to drive the development of innovative healthcare technologies across the region and beyond.

The consortium, known as the ‘Healthcare Technologies Capability Connector’ (HTCC), and supported by Imperial College London and Cranfield University, has been conceived to strategically link-up London-based entrepreneurs and innovation hubs, including the London MedTech cluster around White City, with Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire’s burgeoning biopharma sector, to support manufacturing and scaling of high growth potential businesses. These include Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst - the UK’s first open innovation biopharma campus –and Cranfield’s Industrial Technology Park.

The partnership brings together Herts’ long-standing expertise with SME engagement, incubation and acceleration support, as well as its research strengths around Pharma, AI, Robotics and Data Science; Imperial College’s broad-ranging health research capabilities and world-class development of spin outs; and Cranfield’s unique capabilities around applied engineering, manufacturing and scale up. The programme envisages the launch of a comprehensive provision to provide targeted support for R&D-focused healthcare companies in the early and scale-up stages. This includes funded acceleration and commercialisation support, funded support for researchers from across all three universities wishing to commercialise their ideas and a unique opportunity to build networks across key innovation clusters.

Ultimately, by linking key existing innovation ecosystems in this sector, enhancing researchers’ ability to bring their ideas to market and providing businesses with access to both expertise and specialist facilities, the programme intends to accelerate innovation and commercialisation, help promote the adoption of new innovations into the NHS and contribute to the creation of new jobs and the overall growth of the UK’s healthcare sector.

Professor John Senior, Pro Vice Chancellor Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Herts, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Imperial College London and Cranfield University to drive forward what we believe will be a step-changing initiative for the sector.”

“This incredible funding boost by Research England will enable us to leverage our combined strengths to help us meet key industry needs and play a role in advancing the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower.”

Yanina Aubrey-Gimenez, Director of Business, Enterprise and Innovation at Herts added: “The UK’s Life Science sector is of strategic importance not only to the economy, but also the country’s health, wealth and resilience. However, a key challenge as it looks to grow and remain competitive, is to create the conditions for innovations to scale at pace by facilitating access to space, specialist labs, equipment, research and manufacturing expertise. HTCC aims to respond to this challenge by linking-up London-based SMEs and innovators to ecosystems in the larger Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire regions which are ready to support innovation at scale.”

HTCC is one of just 14 UK projects to receive the CCF award, which are allocated to reinforce the critical innovation ecosystems around the UK already playing a crucial role in economic growth, scientific innovation and levelling up.

The programme is due to officially launch in January 2024. Any healthcare businesses, entrepreneurs and third sector organisations interested in knowing more, should register their interest by emailing


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