Research Ventures Catalyst Funding Awarded to New Materials MedTech Centre Boosts Royce and Tata Steel Collaboration

The Materials MedTech Centre, an initiative led by the Henry Royce Institute in partnership with Tata Steel, has received a round of funding from the Research Ventures Catalyst to support its goal in positioning the UK as a global leader in integrating next-generation materials with healthcare applications.

The Research Ventures Catalyst is a UK Government-backed pilot programme aimed at supporting the creation of novel research ventures to tackle a particular research challenge within any discipline.

The projects will be led by entrepreneurial teams working in collaboration with the public sector, industry and third sector partners. The Materials MedTech Centre, alongside 11 other projects funded by the Research Ventures Catalyst, will encourage multi-disciplinary collaborations that stimulate deeper public-private partnerships.

Accompanied by experts from Royce and Tata Steel, the Centre will bring together healthcare providers, investors and leaders from research and industry localised to the Northwest and Northern England.

This development boosts the existing collaborative activities between Royce and Tata Steel, which will see £10 million committed to a joint R&D initiative over the next four years. The collaboration will revolve around the newly launched Centre for Innovation in Advanced Materials and specifically target Medical Materials, 2D Materials and Second-life materials in the context of sustainability.

A Diverse Medical Materials Ecosystem

Broadly, the Materials MedTech Centre aims at catalysing a paradigm shift in how medical material innovations are discovered and brought to market. Bioelectronics, bone replacement and wound care are just a few of the high-impact applications that are expected to receive notable interest.

By matching up segments of the medical materials supply chain, the project will combine ‘top-down’ demands with ‘bottom-up’ understanding to unlock new solutions to address some of healthcare’s biggest challenges – an approach that has seen success in the pharmaceutical industry.

Through Royce’s continued leadership in advanced materials and innovation, as well as Tata Steel’s expertise in technology translation and commercialisation, the Centre will:

  • Facilitate early access to major advancements in UK-based materials science research.
  • Contribute to positive societal impact from related research through partnerships with target sectors and healthcare providers.
  • Provide clear regulatory, de-risking and investment pathways to the medical materials supply chain.

Furthermore, foundational partnerships with Tata Steel’s Materials and Graphene division will explore the economic viability of innovations, assessing the suitability of scaling-up developments.

While this initial funding is a significant success for the project, the Centre hopes to gain sustainable independence by utilising new commercialisation pathways to generate additional industry revenue.

The Materials MedTech Centre will be headquartered alongside Royce at The University of Manchester and will integrate three of Northern England’s key capabilities: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Health Innovations, and Digital.

These capabilities have been highlighted due to their region-specific sectoral strength in addition to R&D assets and have been identified as leading areas for Greater Manchester’s industry strategy. It is expected that investing in each of these capabilities will create the opportunity to promote productivity across the Northern region as well.