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EPSRC and Philips Research announce a strategic alliance to develop next generation biomedical diagnostic technologies


EPSRC and Philips Research have announced a £6m agreement to fund research and training in biomedical technology. The research is aimed at the development of next generation diagnostic and monitoring technologies for medical devices. Prime application examples are likely to include health monitoring while travelling in an ambulance between a medical emergency and hospital, state-of-the-art biosensors for more general diagnostics and measurement purposes within healthcare facilities, and the rapidly expanding personal health and fitness monitoring markets. These applications will almost certainly demand battery-powered, portable biosensors capable of transmitting and receiving data wirelessly while in use.

EPSRC and Philips have signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ to support a four-year joint research framework including leading UK centres of academic excellence such as Imperial College London and Cambridge University. The framework also encompasses established Philips Research sites at Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Redhill in the UK, and Aachen in Germany.

Philips’ strong history of technological innovation has helped to drive improvements in the healthcare business. The company is one of three world leaders in the medical systems market, maintaining the number one position in patient monitoring and number two in the diagnostic medical imaging market. Part of the Philips’ strength in healthcare innovation has been founded on research in collaboration with leading universities and clinical sites; the alliance with EPSRC fits in this strategy. EPSRC benefits from the alliance because its mission is to provide a research foundation for future economic and social development in the UK, in this case by assisting in the creation of healthcare technologies.

“For Philips coming from a long established background in electronics, this agreement will give us access to the creativity of the UK universities in [what are for us] traditionally non-core biomedical technologies that will become increasingly crucial to our medical and consumer electronics businesses in the future,” explains Terry Doyle, a Senior Vice President within Philips Research and Director of Philips Research UK.

“For the EPSRC this agreement brings business acumen and discipline to an important research area that could benefit millions of people around the world,” says Lesley Thompson, a senior manager within EPSRC who helped formulate this strategic partnership. “It also brings welcomed inward investment into the UK science infrastructure and most important of all will help researchers gain invaluable commercial experience from Philips, one of the world’s oldest, largest and most well respected technology companies.”

Helen Smith | alfa
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