Innovation Programme: Case Studies Phase 1 (2016 - 2018)

Torc 2

Torc2 case study

Revolutionary new material invented in Coventry to treat limb conditions

Torc2 Ltd, based at the Bilton Industrial Estate, has created a new, world-first form of plastic that could revolutionise the way limb conditions and injuries are treated. The company has protected the Intellectual Property (IP) on the material as well as a new process method using their flexible, durable compound that can be re-shaped at temperatures safe for patients. Gary Blundell and Ron Taylor, who are part of the team that runs the firm, have a background in engineering and plastics and originally developed the new material as a potential replacement for Plaster of Paris casts. But after seeking opinion from the medical profession including surgeons at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, the pair turned their attention to devices such as splints and supports for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, Talipes (club foot), Hip Dysplasia, Idiopathic Toe Walking and liners that can be reshaped for lower limb prosthetics.

Facts

  • Company: Torc2
  • Location: Coventry
  • Sector: Scientific Research & Development
  • Technology Focus: Medical and Advanced Material
  • Grant Awarded: £83,800
  • Jobs Being Created: 4

Gary added: "We've also been supported by Warwick Manufacturing Group with trial production and have had significant help from our friends at RDM Group." 

Coventry City Councillor Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: "Coventry has always innovated and this is yet another example of a local business being at the cutting edge of new developments. I hope it leads to the on-going growth of the company and opportunities for local people." 

The company sought help from the CWLEP Growth Hub to assist in raising finance for its product development and was then referred to Coventry City Council which resulted in being awarded a grant under the Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Programme - partfunded by the European Regional Development Fund. Torc2 is the first SME to be awarded a grant through the programme. 

Gary said: "The key property of our torc material is the fact it can be softened at low temperatures. It can be reshaped directly on the patient at around 55 degrees and, therefore, the types of products we are looking at can be
altered to exactly fit the patient very quickly, easily and without waste. "In some cases, Spica casts being a typical example, it can cut out the need for extra trips to the operating theatre - which is a huge cost saving to the NHS and much better for the patient."
"The next phase is to upscale the current lab micro 3D printing process to enable production of full size devices for clinical trials. Feedback we are getting is that this is a very exciting new material that has the potential to revolutionise the way in which this area of treatment is delivered."

The Innovation Programme supports Coventry & Warwickshire SMEs to develop innovative products and services which are new to the market. If you are interested in the programme please email us at innovation@coventry.gov.uk

BHR Pharmaceuticals case study

Business ready BHR

Development of new diabetes treatment to commence local trials.

BHR Pharmaceuticals based in Nuneaton are taking forward the development of a piece of technology known as FREMS for the management and treatment of diabetic wounds and peripheral neuropathies. The FREMS (Frequency Rhythmic Electrical Modulation System) device uses modulated frequency pulses to improve the supply of oxygen to nerve cells with the aim of reducing pain. Using specialist NHS staff BHR will undertake pilot clinical trials at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton in order to generate evidence to push for further multi centre trials across the NHS and ultimately see the technology be adopted for treating diabetic neuropathies. If successful the use of FREMS could help reduce the financial burden the NHS experiences dealing with diabetic conditions and also provide patients with a non-invasive approach that helps provide pain relief without the need for drug treatment and prevent further debilitating illnesses associated with diabetes.

Bharat Vadukul, Director, BHR said:

"The main treatments for painful diabetic neuropathy remain management of the underlying diabetes and drugs for the relief of pain. Despite the significant individual and social burden associated with diabetic neuropathy, its treatment remains unsatisfactory."
    
"Many therapies have been the subject of clinical trials for diabetic neuropathy and painful diabetic neuropathy. However, there are currently no FDA-approved therapies for diabetic neuropathy so our aim is to work to that and provide a treatment that is clinically proved and works."

Facts

  • Company: BHR Pharmaceuticals
  • Location: Nuneaton
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Technology Focus: Medical
  • Grant Awarded: £33,000
  • Jobs Being Created: 2

BHR were working with the University of Warwick Science Park's Business Ready programme who then referred them to Coventry City Council resulting in a grant being awarded under the Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

Richard Middleton, Innovation Development Officer, Coventry City Council said: "The work BHR are doing could bring about the introduction of an exciting new emerging medical technology to the NHS that could bring cost savings and better outcomes for patients.    
"Our grant funding will help BHR undertake pilot clinical trials in Coventry & Warwickshire that should provide further evidence to support the case for the NHS to adopt the technology. The results of the trials should generate interest from specialists in the clinical community."

The Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Programme supports local SMEs to develop innovative products and services which are new to the market. If you are interested in the programme please email us at: innovation@coventry.gov.uk

Enable iD case study

Enable press photo

Innovative intelligent mobility

Enable iD specialise in the creation of 'smart environments'. Based in Stratford-upon-Avon they are developing an intelligent mobility platform called 'MyJrny'. It combines real time transport information and personal data to improve travel whilst preserving individuals' privacy. It matches peoples' travel needs and behavioural habits with the most appropriate available services.

The intelligent mobility market is expected to be worth an estimated £900 billion by 2025 and Enable iD is now looking to position themselves as leaders in the UK in this sector, with growth expected over the coming years.

The MyJrny platform combines data capture through an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network, deployed at transport interchanges. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver personalised mobility guidance in real time. The system effectively manages supply and demand by aggregating individuals' mobility requirements and mapping them to available services in the transport ecosystem.

Enable iD aims to use MyJrny to incentivise transport service providers to collaborate to provide more integrated and enhanced journeys for passengers.

Project Lead Chris Thompson said:

"The funding will enable MyJrny to be piloted across the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership region, as a hub for integrated intelligent mobility."

"The region offers a unique opportunity for the development of MyJrny as a cloud-based extension to the operating systems of connected and autonomous vehicles, due to the region's selection as a test site.

"Enable is already in talks with regional companies about leveraging MyJrny for connected and autonomous vehicles beyond its regional pilot."

Facts

Company: Enable iD
Location: Stratford-Upon-Avon
Sector: Information and Communication
Technology Focus: Digital Intelligent Mobility
Grant Awarded: £62,675
Jobs Being Created: 3

Enable iD initially approached the Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub who then referred them to the Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Phil Peak, Account Manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: "One of the reasons the Growth Hub was launched was to help make businesses aware of the advice and support available to them. Securing the grant has allowed Enable iD to make great steps in a market that is set to grow massively over the coming years."

Richard Middleton, Innovation Development Officer, Coventry City Council said: "Enable iD are at the sharp end of developing new products and services utilising digital technology. The proposal will bring forward greater capabilities in the utilisation of data which is essential for a modern economy looking to ensure it is well positioned to embrace digitisation, smart technology and all the benefits that will bring."

The Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Programme supports local SMEs to develop innovative products and services which are new to the market. If you are interested in the programme please email us at: innovation@coventry.gov.uk.