Translate: Realising medical technologies innovation in Leeds

The Leeds City Region is a driving force for the healthcare sector in the United Kingdom, with world-leading clinical expertise and research capacity across its universities, hospitals, healthcare and medical device manufacturing sectors. From the need to ensure that research is translated and implemented in practice, Translate was established as a new partnership of universities in the Leeds City Region, to support the development of new medical technologies into practice.

Translate aims to develop nationally leading capability in medical technology innovation in the Leeds City Region, establishing a sustainable community of academic, industry and clinical partners who are connected and committed to working in partnership with each other.

“Our ambition is simple: to improve health and wealth in the Leeds City Region, by translating ideas into new medical technologies. Working together, smarter, faster.”

Translate is financed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund, which aims to drive innovation in the Higher Education sector, support innovative solutions, and enhance excellence and efficiency in higher education.

Translating ideas into commercial opportunities and clinical applications

Finding new ideas with a market opportunity and clinical need is challenging in itself. Add in the need to navigate complex regulatory pathways, and the entire process, which is meant to be creative, can seem daunting. Through Translate, innovation workshops are being led around specific medical technology market opportunities, drawing on a critical mass of capability in the Leeds City Region. The workshops bring together professionals from academia, industry, regulatory bodies, clinical settings and more to generate, develop and communicate new ideas and form new collaborations. Click here to check out some of the events that Translate are hosting.

In addition, new ideas and collaborations benefit from the support of Translate’s Technology Innovation Managers, who facilitate the innovation process from concept to commercialisation.

Providing professional development opportunities

Translate are delivering a targeted innovation development programme to enhance innovation awareness, understanding and capacity. Their training programme, secondment and mentoring schemes are fully funded and open to PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, academic staff, and technology transfer teams within Translate’s partner universities (University of Bradford, University of Huddersfield, Leeds Beckett University, University of Leeds and University of York).

By participating in the professional development opportunities on offer, you will be able to:

  • Learn innovation skills that cannot be taught in a classroom;
  • Progress your technology ideas;
  • Stand out from the crowd to potential collaborators, funders and future employers;
  • Build new contacts you wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to; and
  • Road test a new sector or environment.

Click here to take a look at some of the professional development opportunities available. I recently co-delivered a workshop hosted by Translate, focusing on patient and public involvement, alongside Chris Macdonald and Maureen Grossman, on behalf of Arthritis Research UK. It was well attended by a variety of individuals, from PhD students up to research managers. As with all things research, there are many great opportunities out there, it’s just that people aren’t necessarily aware of them. Hopefully you are now aware of another fantastic set of resources freely available to you.

Working together, smarter, faster

There has never been a better time to reach out to organisations like Translate, who have the expertise and contacts to help you to find the right people to work with, identify and leverage funds and resources, and support innovation skills development.

For further information, please visit, where you’ll be able to sign up to their newsletter. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter too!

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