Ten small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to receive a significant package of support to accelerate product development, secure investment and help bring new health and wellbeing innovations to market.
The flagship innovation programme, led by Sheffield Hallam’s world-leading Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), brokers academic expertise from across the University to deliver research and development (R&D) support to businesses and leverages its network of over 100 experienced mentors.
This is the third iteration of the programme since its launch during the early stages of the pandemic in April 2020 and it has supported 40 businesses so far, including Sheffield-based sleep-tech start-up SleepCogni that went on to raise more than $2million to commercialise into the US market.
The businesses accepted onto this year’s programme, which has been supported by Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem Partnership Programme funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, include:
- Aspedan, based in Chester, has developed a Bioanalytics Engine capable of monitoring 165+ biomarkers to provide incentivised, personalised and medically validated health plans through a smartphone app and clinician portal.
- BERRI, based in Matlock, creates clinical evaluation tools that identify, support and track children’s psychological needs, which enable them to produce individualised reports for caregivers.
- FLX Health, based in Hull, use proprietary Intrinsic Biomechanics Model algorithms to improve the way people move in order to manage pain and prevent musculoskeletal disease and injury.
- Hero of Health, based in Sheffield, provide Digital Lifestyle Hubs to increase GP profitability by building clinically proven activated neighbourhoods that prevent & reverse chronic illness, resulting in increased mobility, enhanced mental health, and sustained weight loss.
- Hytro, based in West Byfleet, seeks to advance human health and performance through patented blood flow restriction (BFR) wearables.
- Ideabatic, based in Wales, has developed a patented cooling system to enable life-saving vaccines to be transported and administered efficiently.
- Live More Offline, is a Yorkshire-based digital wellbeing consultancy, and uses a Digital Culture Diagnostic™ to help organisations seeking to improve productivity and retain talent through healthier working cultures. They provide data-driven insights into employees' digital work experiences and training to improve digital ways of working.
- Prorizon, based in Birmingham, is a health-tech startup using bio-psycho-social data to build science-first, AI-enabled, personalised solutions for optimal mental and physical health and performance.
- Select Research, based in Malvern, have developed the Body Volume Index (BVI), a digital measurement system and obesity solution that analyses digital images and demographic data to provide insightful data outputs.
- Simply Connect Solutions, based in Sheffield put social prescribing in the hands of the user by providing easy access to mental health and wellbeing support services.
Following the programme, the AWRC continues its support and works with the participants to develop collaborative grant funding applications, which has seen significant grant awards secured for new R&D projects with graduates from the programme.
Ryan Sylvester, Programme Manager for the Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator, said: “Like the entrepreneurs we are supporting, we have been through our own development journey with this programme since it was founded back in 2020. I am pleased to share that this year’s package of support is the most exciting to date. It is market-leading, both in terms of breadth of the support offer and potential for impact. The team is looking forward to connecting the participants into our growing ecosystem to help them in reaching their potential.
Sirinda Bhandal, CEO and Founder, Simply Connect Solutions Ltd, said: “We're over the moon to be joining the health and wellbeing accelerator programme and really looking forward to working with the AWRC and Sheffield Hallam to help validate our product and achieve our goal of helping people to get their lives back on track, accessing the right support, when they need it.”
Jason Brannan, Deputy Director of the AWRC, said: “If we are to truly address the widening gap in health inequalities and productivity across the UK, evidenced clearly in post industrial Northern economies, we must focus on the prevention of disease and the resilience of people. Advanced wellbeing and physical activity have an important role to play in this, something that became apparent throughout the Covid pandemic and beyond. These companies have an important role to play here and the AWRC Accelerator will support them in bringing their products to market.”
The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which forms the centrepiece of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population. Its mission is to transform lives through innovations that help people move, by treating chronic disease through co-designed research into physical activity – whilst also contributing to the creation of new jobs and attracting investment to the region.
Find out more about the wellbeing accelerator.