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Medilink East Midlands will help Leicestershire Life Science Firms ‘Get Smart’

Life science companies in Leicester and Leicestershire can get ‘smart’ with their business operations, thanks to a project delivered by Medilink East Midlands and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Smart Life Sciences Technology Innovation & Commercialisation Enabler (SoLSTICE) is a £1.22million scheme, part-funded by ERDF, to provide support for companies in the Leicester and Leicestershire area. Help is available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who work, or want to work, in life sciences. Companies can apply for funding to develop products and services, attend specialist events and conferences, and undertake medical technology trials.

Medilink East Midlands – the industry support organisation for the East Midlands which supports new and existing life science companies - is delivering the SoLSTICE project and will help companies to access support and advice, in partnership with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

ERDF funding for SoLSTICE has been made available for the next three years, meaning that SoLSTICE is set to run until December 2021. Leicester and Leicestershire companies who sign up to the SoLSTICE programme will continue to receive wide-ranging business support. This includes help and advice from life science sector specialists from business, clinical and academic backgrounds, as well as grants for clinical evaluations, innovation development and specialist networking event attendance.

One company which has already benefitted from SoLSTICE support is ITS Designs – trading as Alert-it Care Alarms - which is one of the UK’s leading innovators and manufacturers of care alarm systems across the country. ITS Designs design, manufacture & supply all their products in Desford and have won a prestigious contract to supply the Norwegian government.

The company created the Alert-it radio system and pager (pictured), which is a proven, failsafe alarm system for protecting people by detecting epilepsy seizures and falls. Alert-it Care Alarms wanted to evolve their current technology to include low power Bluetooth, near field communication and connectivity to hospital nurse call – and looked to the SoLSTICE project for help.

To accelerate the project’s development, innovation advisers worked with ITS Designs and looked at where support could best be offered. It was found that a lack of resources was the largest stumbling block for the business and that ITS Designs could be eligible to apply for SoLSTICE grant support. Project advisers assisted ITS Designs throughout the application process and the company received an innovation support grant of £7,170 as part of the wider support offered as part of the SoLSTICE project. This has helped ITS Designs to get its new and improved technology closer to market, in a much more robust and quicker way than would have otherwise been possible.

Darren Clark, Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands, said:

“Whether it’s a lack of funding, contacts, or knowledge, life science companies can sometimes face considerable barriers in getting their products and services to market. By providing SoLSTICE support, we’re helping companies to overcome obstacles on the road to getting their products and services sold. We are extremely pleased to be working with our delivery partners to offer companies and entrepreneurs the sector-specific knowledge and support they need through this programme.”

For further information on the SoLSTICE project and to find out more about the support on offer, visit

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