News & Events

12 March 2024

SBRI Spotlight Session on Challenge-Led Innovation in Wales

The SBRI Centre of Excellence Wales was thrilled to host a Spotlight Session on Challenge-Led Innovation in Wales in partnership with Cardiff University Innovation Network, at sbarc|spark Cardiff on Tuesday, March 12th. This event provided a unique opportunity to showcase some examples of the impactful work undertaken in collaboration with the health, social care and wider public sector organisations across Wales.

The session was strategically designed to shed light on the core principles and objectives of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), specifically tailored to the Welsh context, in particular how SBRI acts as a catalyst for Research and Development, fuelling the collaborative creation of ground breaking solutions where conventional market solutions fall short.

The SBRI Centre of Excellence Wales offers a valuable opportunity for businesses in Wales, particularly those in their early stages, to receive funding and support. Funded by Welsh Government, and hosted within Betsi Cadwaldr UHB, the initiative accelerates technology development by engaging with businesses directly to address unmet needs in the public sector.

Chaired by Professor Rick Delbridge, Professor of Organisational Analysis at Cardiff University and with presentations from industry partners, NHS clinicians, leaders from Welsh Government and academic experts, the session provided a cross sector exploration of the transformative potential in challenge led innovation.

Ibex Analytics showcased their development of an AI Supported Pathology Diagnostic Tool that has been deployed across six health boards in Wales. Results are demonstrating a significant improvement in cancer detection, increased confidence by clinicians and reduction in costly IHC testing.

Richard Nicholson, Commercial Director at Ibex said:

“I don’t think we can undervalue how beneficial the SBRI programme has been for us in terms of how quickly we moved forward. The opportunities that it led to outside the SBRI. It led onto other things, SBRI gives you that network, that visibility, and opportunities will come after that, so we can’t be more thankful.”

Another successful SBRI bidder, Victoria Mann, CEO of Near Me Now Ltd, talked though her journey with the Centre and how it led to the growth of her company and public sector contract awards, most recently having been chosen to install their VZTA Town digital platform in Wrexham, despite some very stiff competition from major name software service providers. Vic said: “We wouldn’t have achieved what we have, at the scale and pace that we’ve done it, had it not been for SBRI”.

The SBRI Centre for Excellence Wales is dedicated to creating an environment that nurtures innovation and accelerates the development of transformative technologies. The Spotlight Session highlighted the potential and opportunities presented by the programme to both private and public sectors.

Following the success of the South Wales event, a follow up is planned for summer in the North Wales region, dates and details will be announced though SBRI channels in the coming weeks.

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