It was a pleasure working with the South East Health Technologies Association (SEHTA) again, co-hosting an event for 22 companies involved in Quality of Life Technology. We demonstrated how to bid for funding from a current Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). Worth £600k, the initiative seeks to generate innovative solutions to help people live independently for longer and was jointly launched by the Technology Strategy Board and the Design Council.
We aimed to get companies together to form alliances for this opportunity and to express the key aims of the SBRI, showing consortia how to have the best chance of winning.
The bid covered nutrition and mobility of older adults, encouraging companies to work together to address issues of design of products for this market. Attendees were from the quality of life technologies, electronic product development and product design sectors.
David Parry (SEHTA Chief Executive), hosted the morning and Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, TSB Lead Specialist in Assisted Living, presented in a very accessible way, the relevant issues and ways in which groups and companies work together to solve them. It was inspirational to hear of the work done by the TSB, moving the agenda forward and to see how many alliances and opportunities have opened up for companies in this market.
Gus Desbarats from “The Alloy” demonstrated the importance of good design in products for this market, emphasising that older adults want good quality “stuff” that does not look as if it has been designed “for the elderly”. Older adults have a better grasp of technology and design than is often thought. Gus showed some examples of good design and gave some pointers as to how good design for this market can be achieved.
The speakers stayed for one to one sessions with companies and consortia and Andy Carr (ESP KTN) commented “What impressed me was the length of time delegates stayed afterwards in meetings with key speakers, networking with each other. New alliances have come out of this session already and delegates commented that they had much more confidence in bidding for this type of fund.”