Health Enterprise East has announced the launch of a new proof of concept financial awards scheme that strives to progress medical technology and software innovations developed primarily from within the NHS.

Through the Medtech Accelerator promising early-stage projects can pick up awards of between £15,000 and £125,000, designed to support proof of concept work such as market research and prototype development, to help maximise the potential for success.

Led by NHS innovation hub Health Enterprise East (HEE), the initiative includes New Anglia Capital, a subsidiary of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough (GCGP) LEP, and the Eastern AHSN.

LEPs and Eastern AHSN have each invested £500K and will have access to HEE's expertise in proof of concept and technology transfer and to its existing pipeline of NHS technologies through its membership base, including internationally renowned centres of healthcare research and innovation.

"The Medtech Accelerator is the first scheme of its kind that brings together local authority, business and the NHS across a specific geography to invest in Medtech," said Dr Anne Blackwood, HEE chief executive. "There is a current lack of funding for early stage proof of principle work and together we have the opportunity to not only help patients but also bring economic growth to the region in the form of jobs, revenues and the scope to leverage additional investment."

"The NHS has huge potential to be more creative, working with patients to help design better services. Yet with services under increasing pressure, accessing funding for experimentation and innovation can be challenging. The Medtech Accelerator addresses this gap," added Dr Steve Feast, Managing Director of Eastern AHSN commented.