University offers businesses the chance to turn innovative ideas into reality

2nd June 2016

Businesses looking to kick-start innovative projects are being offered the unique opportunity to work with leading researchers from the University of Sheffield and triple their research investment.

The University's Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) is offering £5,000 Innovation Vouchers in match-funding to help companies launch new ventures which aim to improve people's lives through technology. The vouchers will give organisations access to over 70 academics from 17 different departments at the University helping their inventive ideas to become a reality. Our ageing population means the number of people living with long-term conditions and disabilities is rising. CATCH research, develop, evaluate and implement new technologies to enable people to live well and age well. The ground-breaking research conducted at the centre aims to provide solutions away from institution-based care towards care provided in the home and community. Researchers are working to make a significant and lasting contribution to the quality of life and independence of the growing number of people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. -Our vision is to transform the ways in which people are enabled to live well through the application of ubiquitous and personalised technology, said Professor Mark Hawley, CATCH Director. -The pioneering Innovation Vouchers scheme gives companies the unique opportunity to work with our world-class researchers to help on short-term research and development projects. Researchers at CATCH focus on four themes; Assistive and Social Robotics, Intelligent Personalised Support, Human Communication Technology and Complex Behavioural Interventions. The first innovation voucher was awarded to the organisation Goselware at the Digital Health Design Challenge, which took place at the Digital Media Centre (DMC) in Barnsley. They were working with a team from the multiple sclerosis (MS) charity Shift.ms and a consultant neurologist and specialist nurse from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to create an app to help people with MS to monitor and manage fatigue issues. Their proposal won them the £5,000 Innovation Voucher from CATCH who judged it the most promising idea linked to their research themes. Their investment, which will be match-funded, comes with support from CATCH to accelerate the idea a step closer to market. CATCH is now looking forward to receiving applications and working with more organisations across the region and the country as part of the Innovation Vouchers initiative Please visit the CATCH website for more information about the Innovation Vouchers scheme and the application form: www.catch.org.uk

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