Forthcoming Events in our 2021-22 Programme

Tuesday 1st February 2022: "Yorkshire as MedTech Innovation Hub" by Dr Mike Raxworthy,  CEO of Neotherix and Associate Professor, University of Leeds.


Yorkshire has a strong heritage in medical technology – in which we include the medical device and diagnostics industries.  For instance, Charles F Thackray started supplying sterile wound dressings and surgical instruments from his pharmacy shop in Great George Street in 1906 and TJ Smith was active in supplying cod liver oil from Hull Docks in 1856 – eventually leading to the formation of Smith & Nephew in 1896.  Today, MedTech is a nationally-important sector, with a turnover of over £24bn and employing over 127,000 people.  Yorkshire and the Humber constitutes 10% of this total – larger than any other region except the South East.


Leeds (and the Leeds City Region) is home to around 250 MedTech businesses, the majority of these being SMEs.  Activities range from digital health, advanced medical textiles, regenerative devices, rapid diagnostic tests, point of care monitoring equipment and tissue repair scaffolds. With an ecosystem comprising a significant concentration of NHS headquarters, leading teaching hospitals and major universities engaged in MedTech research, companies are in a strong position to form collaborations to bring new innovations through the complex new product development process.  We will look at a few cases in this talk, examine trends and speculate on possible future devices bringing new benefits to patients.


Mike Raxworthy is a biomedical scientist and holds a PhD from the University of Leeds. He has over 32 years’ experience leading research and development projects in the medical technology, medical device and pharmaceutical industries, having held senior roles at Smith & Nephew and 3M Health Care.  His first involvement in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine was in 1996. He holds an MBA from Warwick Business School and is also the founder and CEO of Neotherix, which he spun-out from Smith & Nephew in 2007 to focus on bioresorbable regenerative scaffolds for tissue repair.  Mike combines Neotherix responsibilities with those of Associate Professor in Engineering Management and Innovation at the University of Leeds.  He was a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Medical Technology Innovation and Translation at Leeds from 2015-2018.

Mike’s background has provided an understanding of the workings of large and micro companies as well as extensive experience of the public sector through business engagement and education roles at Leeds.  Many lessons on the challenges of MedTech translation from lab to market have been learned (and are still being learned) along the way.  He has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and the innovation process and in selecting and developing the most promising ideas and concepts using appropriate decision criteria. He has recently been able to apply this interest to the translation of MedTech in low-resource settings and is the Principal Investigator for a Global Challenges Research Fund project focusing on biomedical engineering in East Africa.

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