Heriot-Watt University: MDMC shortlisted for prestigious business engagement award

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) at Heriot-Watt University, led by Professor Duncan Hand and managed by Professor Marc Desmulliez, has been shortlisted for an accolade at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards in the Outstanding Business Engagement in Universities category.

The awards, which return next month for a seventh year, celebrate Scotland’s vibrant and innovative higher education sector and its efforts to build future excellence and facilitate the sharing of best practice in learning, teaching, research, and collaboration.

The MDMC is a consortium, led by Heriot-Watt University, which includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Robert Gordon University. The first-of-its-kind facility in Scotland unites engineers, scientists, and clinicians with Scotland’s medical device SMEs. In just two years, the MDMC has created a unique business collaboration model, supporting more than 55 Scottish companies.

Providing free expert advice on manufacturing, engineering, regulatory issues, coupled with technically supported access to manufacturing facilities, the MDMC assists SMEs to translate medical device concepts into commercial products, accelerating the progression of ideas to market and the adoption of medical devices into clinical settings.

Supported companies include Confidence Plus which makes a device for dignity to prevent stoma bag leaks. The MDMC helped Confidence Plus to become the first Scottish organisation to trial new software licensed by NICE for assessment of the company’s product in healthcare management settings. At the height of the pandemic, the MDMC also worked with additive manufacturing specialist Abergower to develop a new manufacturing facility in the company’s premises, mass producing 3D printed COVID-19 testing swabs.

Professor Marc Desmulliez, Manager of the Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) based at Heriot-Watt University said: “We are honoured to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award which recognises the MDMC’s innovation in working with its business partners as well as the impact the facility has made in such a short period of time.

“The MDMC provides Scottish SMEs with the widest array of advanced medical device manufacturing equipment in Scotland, free of charge and backed by specialist support. This approach benefits society by accelerating life-changing medical devices to market and fully aligns with Heriot-Watt University’s wider strategy to create and exchange knowledge that benefits society.”

Robin Prior, managing director, Abergower: “The MDMC was invaluable to our company regarding the development and production of an entirely new and innovative approach to COVID 19 PCR testing. It provided the backbone and expertise to help design, develop, test, and validate our product in an environment characterised by changing needs and heavy emphasis on regulatory compliance. We are extremely grateful to all the team for their professionalism, and we are absolutely delighted to be working with them going forward.”

The Herald Higher Education Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow on 31st May 2022.

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