Adaptix recently won funding from the NHS, UK Space Agency and European Space Agency to commercialise its space-heritage technology to support the introduction of low-cost, low-dose, 3D bed-side imaging into the NHS.
Without the prior support we received from Innovate UK we would not have been able to win this funding. We have been fortunate enough to receive circa £2 million of grant support from Innovate UK from a variety of competitions and have been able to leverage this to raise over £8 million of equity.
The Adaptix journey
The support of Innovate UK to Adaptix, and other small to medium enterprises (SMEs) has been vitally important. Adaptix can be described as a ‘gazelle’ company: we have increased from zero in 2014 to 32 employees today, and we are ‘IP rich’ with our 11 patents to-date.
But the most important thing that government support allows us to do is to root our company and its supply chain in the UK, so we can create high-value jobs in the long-term.
Not all technology works out, and Innovate UK has a place in reducing the risk for employees and investors to make sure that ideas can be given the chance to prove themselves. This, in turn, creates UK jobs, rather than have those jobs migrate to larger markets where capital is more plentiful.
Analysis for Innovators scheme (A4I)
One of the most unusual Innovate UK calls we have bid into was the Analysis for Innovators Scheme (A4I).
The A4I scheme works differently to the normal grant process. Instead of going in with a proposal for something you want to do, you go in with a problem – a problem that measurement science may be able to solve.
This problem could be impacting on your productivity, or could relate to the reliability of a product, the costs of manufacturing – but essentially it would involve a requirement for specialist measurement and analysis skills.
You are then matched up with scientists who work at measurement laboratories around the country who will collaborate with you on solving this issue. The scientists we worked with were part of the materials characterisation team at the National Physical Laboratory.
Schemes like A4I fund UK SMEs, giving them access to the world’s best characterisation equipment. Crucially, it also gives access to some of the world’s best brains that allow amazing results from that equipment.
Making the UK a world leader in innovation
The UK is the country that invented the CT scanner and the MRI scanner, but we are not one of the counties that has benefited from the commercial exploitation, whereas the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and now China, have.
Innovate UK serves a vital role in making sure that science and hardware-based businesses that can create long-term, high-value jobs are allowed the chance to gain critical mass in the UK.
For our long-term economic health, gazelles matter -- giving them a chance to find their legs in the UK remains a positive thing for us all.
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You can go to the Innovate UK website