SPARK 2014

SPARK 2014 delivers a showcase of SBRI Healthcare innovations – improving patient outcomes and driving economic growth

NHS England and SBRI Healthcare yesterday (10 Dec) hosted SPARK 2014 Innovation Expo at the QEII Conference Centre, Westminster, London.

*Presentations now available- please see the end of this page. 


The brand new event brought together 50 companies developing the latest innovations in healthcare with leaders and experts from government, the NHS, academia and industry. The event offered scope to see innovations and technology developed with funding from SBRI Healthcare, to discuss opportunities for further innovation and to establish NHS partnerships.


The keynote presentation from George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences and Ian Dodge, National Director Commissioning Strategy NHS England discussed the challenges and opportunities in bridging the gap between health and economic growth.


Iain Grey, Chief Executive Innovate UK and Prof Tony, Young, National Clinical Director NHS England, followed with an insight into the economic and clinical value of the SBRI Healthcare programme.

Throughout the day all 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) who lead the programme, were on hand to support and advise on the application process and potential focus areas for future competitions.


Since 2009 SBRI Healthcare has launched competitions twice a year offering contracts to innovative small companies to develop new solutions to NHS challenges. Over 100 companies have taken part to date and a current pipeline of products evaluated at over £1bn.

Karen Livingstone, National Director SBRI Healthcare said:

“Today’s event shows what can happen when the NHS, academia and businesses connect. It’s great to see so many companies here today showing us the technologies and innovations they’ve developed with SBRI Healthcare support and funding. Many are already benefiting patients and clinicians around the UK. We are also delighted that George Freeman and other senior leaders from NHS England and Innovate UK have shown today their support and continued commitment to the programme.”

Iain Grey, Chief Executive of Innovate UK added:

“The SBRI process enables any part of the public sector to engage with new suppliers for mutual benefit – stimulating economic growth. SBRI Healthcare is a clear example of this in action.  It plays a pivotal role in ensuring small, innovative companies get the opportunity to turn bright ideas into commercially viable products.  It benefits patients, the NHS, industry and UK plc.”


Earlier this week, SBRI Heathcare announced a further 46 small companies will share over £20 million development funding in the latest rounds of the programme with awards going to companies working in the priority healthcare areas of:

Phase 1: Product feasibility (£2.5 million, 26 companies) – Child & Maternal Health, Integrated Care, Learning Disabilities, Medicines Adherence and Musculoskeletal.

Phase 2: Prototype development (£18.5 million, 20 companies) – Cancer, Cardiovascular, COPD, Diabetes, Mental Health, Patient Safety and Research Tools.

The SBRI Healthcare team would like to say a big thank you to all of the exhibitors and speakers for giving up their time to come along and deliver valuable content and information which contributed to making the day a great success and also a big thank you to all the delegates that came along to SPARK 2014.


Session one

Short presentation from SBRI Healthcare Companies. The economic growth focus from the companies working on SBRI Healthcare programmes
Andrew Smith- Fuel 3D
Kevin Auton- Aseptika

Morning Soap Box Sessions
Just Checking

Session two

Value of the SBRI Healthcare programme from an Economic and Clinical Perspective 
David Connell- SBRI Management Board
Professor Tony Young- National Clinical Director for Innovation, NHS England

Afternoon Soap Box Session
Big White Wall

Role of the AHSNs in Health & Wealth
Nick Scott Ram- Director of Commercial Development, Oxford AHSN
Richard Deed- Greater Manchester AHSN
Deborah Evans- Managing Director, West of England AHSN

Troubleshooting Session
Procurement- Liam Robinson- Assistant Director of Procurement
Health Economics- Jonathan Belsey- Independent Health Economist, JB Medical Ltd
Finance for Innovation- Matt Chapman- Knowledge Transfer Network