Research charity calls on scientists, engineers, and technology experts to transform dialysis treatment

September 13, 2022 - 3 minutes
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Following its successful MedTech competition earlier this year, the UK’s largest kidney research charity, Kidney Research UK, has launched a new competition aimed at innovations in dialysis that will have a significant impact on patients’ lives.

In collaboration with IN-PART’s Discover platform, this year’s competition will encourage scientists, academics, engineers and technology experts to propose new projects that will advance dialysis-related innovations for the benefit of people suffering with kidney disease.

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment, but can cause negative side effects and limits patients’ independence. Despite progress made in kidney disease research, 70 years since it was first introduced, dialysis is still a restrictive, grueling treatment.

The charity is looking for patient-focused innovations in peritoneal or hemodialysis that include, but are not limited to: advancing equipment, monitoring, and access to treatments at clinics, in the community and at home; reducing the cost of the treatment; and reducing the environmental impacts of the treatment process.

As well as the more traditional academic routes of innovation, the charity is also encouraging app and software developers to submit their ideas to challenge for the funding.

Kirsty Frearson, dialysis programme manager at Kidney Research UK, said: “Dialysis is a harsh and grueling treatment that has a significant impact on the lives of the patient and everyone around them. Introduced to the NHS in the 1950s, the principles and limiting nature of the treatment remain largely unchanged.

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Kirsty Frearson, dialysis programme manager at Kidney Research UK

“With the support of engineers, academics, and those at the forefront of technological development, we can bring about meaningful change that will make the differences patients need. These innovations will bring hope to everyone facing dialysis as part of our vision to transform the treatment forever.”

A total of six successful applicants will receive £25,000 ($28,700) to progress their innovations and will be enrolled into a bespoke academy program worth £5,000 ($5,700). This program provides innovators with practical knowledge to drive their products forward, identify marketing opportunities and operate as a start-up.

Consisting of six hours of starter sessions and eight further days of workshops and training, the academy program offers an opportunity for applicants to develop their business skills as well as fund their product research.

Katie Syddall, head of industry partnering at IN-PART

Katie Syddall, head of industry partnering at IN-PART said: “The MedTech competition we worked on with Kidney Research UK earlier this year surfaced so many valuable research projects and placed funding with seven academic groups. We’re excited to see what new ideas and research will be presented by our academic community to drive forward developments in the dialysis space.”

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Applications for the competition must be completed by Monday, November 7, 2022 and submitted by a UK-based lead applicant.

For more information, and to apply, register on the IN-PART Discover platform and complete the submission form on the website. 


What is IN-PART’s Discover platform?

Discover is a bespoke scouting platform used by industry to find solutions and expertise from academia. With the aim of solving a technical requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D and external innovation teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research, from a global academic network with embedded relationships across teams and departments in more than 2,400 universities and institutes.

Since 2018, Discover has made available more than £30 million ($34 million) in industry funding for new academic research, and the platform has been used by teams in companies across a variety of disciplines, including Bayer Crop Science, Johnson & Johnson, Murata Manufacturing, Johnson Matthey, Air Products, GSK Consumer Healthcare, as well as medical research charities including Alzheimer’s Research UK and Kidney Research UK.

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