Tom Keighley

Member Article

Healthcare business support body responds to challenges

The South East Health Technologies Alliance has been forced to adopt a new business model in the wake of mounting pressures on the UK health sector.

Catering towards innovative start-ups in the healthcare sector, SEHTA has set up a new commercial arm called SEHTA Enterprises, in order to continue support for businesses.

CEO of SEHTA, Dr David Parry, said: “Times have changed and the publicly-funded business support sector is under extreme pressure on several fronts.

“The NHS, as we all know, faces severe financial constraints, yet at the same time demand for the improved care of patients has never been higher.

“It is extremely important for innovative UK businesses in the healthcare sector to continue to receive support so they can develop, build and deliver products and services to make healthcare delivery more efficient and cost-effective.

“These companies need help that is both independent and impartial, which is what SEHTA provides to its members.”

Until recently, the organisation was partly funded by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), that will be closed in March 2012 to make way for LEPs.

Dr Parry continued: “The funding provided by SEEDA has been important to us, but it hasn’t been the only form of income to support SEHTA and our members.

“We continue to manage several other public and private sector contracts and are bidding for several more, both in the UK and EU.

“We are also developing strategic partnerships with organisations similar to ourselves, those who will providing support and services to SMEs, universities and the health sector.”

Since its establishment in 2005, SEHTA has developed a strong record in business support, networking and developing projects in response to healthcare sector needs.

The organisation supported over £1 million of market-led collaborative projects in the creation of the International Centre of Excellence in Telecare.

This year, SEHTA managed a successful innovation voucher project in Europe, which introduced around 50 companies to universities to access expertise and equipment.

Dr Parry also spoke about the need for industry to provide innovative cost-effective solutions to NHS challenges.

He said: “We have been responsible for working with our Strategic Health Authorities, now the Southern Cluster, to bring SBRI projects for SMEs to our local companies.

“These contracts from the SHA are designed to help industry solve NHS problems.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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