Team welcomes Chief Scientific Adviser to discuss R&D funding in the UK

17 Oct 2013 3min read

Team Consulting

Company update

Award-winning medical design and development company Team Consulting was yesterday visited by Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport.

Sir Mark visited a number of the most innovative technology companies in Cambridge to look at some of the different funding structures to unlock innovation in the UK. Sir Mark has stated that ensuring scientific knowledge translates into economic growth is a key focus for the UK. Government funding mechanisms can play a key role in this process and there is increasing interest in the huge success of technology consultancy businesses like Team that are based on contract models – working to specific briefs issued by customers with real problems to be solved.

Team believes that the contract model could potentially have a significant impact on encouraging innovation. In particular the consultancy believes that the benefit of contract-funding is that it could be used by the Government to focus R&D effort where it is really needed in order to solve real world problems.

In the medtech sector Team thinks this could have significant benefits. There are a number of significant, complex medical issues such as the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment of diabetes, treatment of cardiovascular disease, and early diagnosis and treatment of cancer that could be addressed in a more structured manner by government through a contract-funding model.

In the example of medtech, the NHS could issue contracts to solve specific problems in order to deliver better treatments and cost-savings in the areas where they are most required.

From left to right: Jamie Greenwood (Team’s Laboratory Manager), Sir Mark Walport and Dan Flicos (Team’s CEO) during the visit of our laboratories

Dan Flicos, CEO of Team Consulting, said: “I would say there is significant ‘latent innovation’ across the UK that struggles to see the light of day as the funding structures are not currently there to properly encourage it. Collaborative co-funding arrangements can bring a high bureaucratic burden and VC funding is often not appropriate for very early stage ideas.

“A government contract model though could offer a useful middle ground with a lighter bureaucratic touch and which is very targeted on real problems that need solving. While I wouldn’t claim that contract-funding is a panacea for the UK, there is certainly a possibility that it could deliver benefits in encouraging small innovative companies to contribute more to tackling the big problems facing many sectors. This is certainly true in the medical sector. This is why it was an honour welcome Sir Mark to our offices yesterday to brief him on our experience with this model.”

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