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Loughborough project bid to grow local rehabilitation and medical technology sector receives Strength in Places Funding

A project bid to grow the local rehabilitation and medical technology sector, of which Loughborough University is a key partner, has received funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund.

Announced today, the Growing Rehabilitation Industries Project (GRIP) was one of 24 to receive up to £50k in early-stage funding to develop full-stage bids.

If its full-stage bid is successful, the GRIP would be awarded between £10m and £50m.

The GRIP team want to create substantial economic growth in the Nottingham, Loughborough and Leicester areas by harnessing pioneering rehabilitation and medical technology research and industrial capability from the region.

Recent years have witnessed extraordinary advances in rehabilitation medicine and the technologies that underpin the recovery of people suffering from trauma, injury and chronic health conditions.

Capitalising on this, the UK has become a leader in the development of new medical, healthcare and technological methods, approaches and devices in this field. Many of these innovations have been achieved collaboratively in world-leading East Midlands research institutions, working alongside industry and clinical partners.

The GRIP team, whose project partners include regional cutting-edge businesses, leading research institutions, sector business groups, health providers and key local partners, want to build on this success further.

This latest wave of financial support brings the project one step closer to securing full funding and realising its goals to create new jobs, high quality skills and driving economic growth across the East Midlands.

Speaking about the GRIP’s latest funding success Professor Mark Lewis, Dean of Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said: “Loughborough is the focal point for a number of initiatives that together will form a world leading cluster in rehabilitation innovation, practice, science and technology.

“The assets include the newly established Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre and the prospective National Rehabilitation Centre on the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate, the world-leading associated universities, the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine and, vitally, the highest density of medical technology companies in the UK. The GRIP project is the first phase in an ambitious plan to lever these assets.”

Announced in the modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, the Strength in Places Fund will benefit all nations and regions of the UK by enabling them to tap into the world-class research and innovation capability that is spread right across the country. The fund brings together research organisations, businesses, and local leadership on projects that will lead to significant economic impact, high-value job creation and regional growth.

Chief Executive of UKRI, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “Our clear vision is to ensure we benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Significant support through the Strength in Places Fund will further catalyse economic potential across the country by bringing researchers, industry and regional leadership together to drive sustained growth through world-class research and innovation.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 19/28

The GRIP partners include:

  • The Universities of Loughborough, Leicester, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent
  • The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre
  • 3M Healthcare Ltd
  • Attenborough Dental and Renfrew Group
  • Medilink East Midlands
  • BioCity
  • Nottingham University Hospitals and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trusts
  • The National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • The East Midlands Academic Health Science Network
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities

About Loughborough University

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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