Ginny Common reflects on learnings from the past six months after joining the HTA as Centre Manager in July.
The Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator is all about collaboration and the bringing together of minds with the ultimate aim of improving health and well-being for citizens. Additionally, its work is geared to addressing system challenges and supporting the productivity of SMEs and economic growth.
For the space to be conducive to collaboration, and to bring those viable problem-solving innovations to life, the HTA must work for its users – in the same way the technologies raised here will have to.
The importance of engagement is an area of business that many organisations will understand. Getting the word out there about your service, your offer, and the benefits you can bring to those that you’re speaking to is crucial.
There is another side to that coin though, and that is what you can learn about your service, offer and benefits from the people you’re engaging with. And that is how we at the HTA have entered every conversation we’ve had since our doors opened this past Summer.
In the same way our services spread across three main sectors of Academia, Industry and Clinical, so has our engagement. We’ve met with faculty leads of the University of Surrey, SMEs and interested companies / organisations within industry and multi-professionals within the clinical sphere, all of which have their own view of how the HTA’s ethos and aims fit their own visions and projects.
The overarching view from Research Fellows, Professors, Doctors and Leads from within the university campus is that the HTA is a great string added to the bow of the school.
And being able to get stuck into and aid the development of innovative technologies brought in by SMEs, or ask if there are technologies out there that could support their research (because the HTA works in many ways), is beyond beneficial.
‘A private space to make mistakes safely’ is a reoccurring comment from many SMEs that we’ve sat down with over the last few months. Knowing that you can come in, close the door and break, and break, and break something until it works in the right way without critical eyes, is a point that we at the HTA hadn’t considered the full value of.
Nothing works properly the first time and sometimes the execution of your idea is very different to the conception. Having access to physical testing space to do that and make those changes encourages people to try different things and innovation improves as a result.
This next learning sounds obvious as someone on the inside, but again, when emphasised by external stakeholders, it’s importance cannot be underrated: access to expertise across our partnership.
As I say, it sounds obvious. But being able to sense check an innovation with a university researcher, and potentially collaborate on the whole project, being able to tap into industry support that you may not have considered yet, or be overwhelmed by, or not know where to start with takes pressure off. No one person, can do everything or think of everything, and at the HTA it’s nice to know that we’re covering valuable bases.
Getting feedback on the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator that positively emphasises its value to potential users is truly helpful. Learning which of our services pique the most interest, and what specific areas within our offering have the largest benefit to our stakeholders, will not only better our narrative around the HTA, but also cement our excitement and passion for making this a huge success for all involved and all that the use the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator.
If you would like what you have read and would like to know more about the Surrey Heartlands Health Tech Accelerator, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.