In the 4 years since our inception, we have helped more than 100 organisations – including small startups, large multinationals and charities – to develop and improve their diagnostics.
Our clinical partners provide us with unrivalled access to world leading hospitals, and extensive clinical networks. This makes us uniquely positioned to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of new diagnostics.
We have a unique methodology that provides a rapid but comprehensive assessment of new diagnostics. Our research packages are customised according to the needs and resources of our clients, however some of the services we offer are depicted in the figure below.
We support innovators at all stages of the product development pathway (see figure below). We help those who have an idea or concept to mitigate risks and develop initial device mock-ups; we support those who have working prototypes in the iterative process of design-evaluation-redesign; and we help those with a final product by generating evidence that increases the chances of adoption.
How We Work With Diagnostics Developers
We are always happy to hear from diagnostics developers if you have any questions about our services. Before we engage in detailed conversations about potential projects however we ask that you download, complete and submit the London-IVD-Client-Application-form. This includes questions that allow us to set up a confidentiality agreement, if required. (Our standard NDA is here.)
There are a variety of funding options available to work with us. We can support grant applications, company-funded projects, and academic collaborations. (An overview of the funding competitions that support diagnostics development in the UK is here.) The funding model determines the process that we use to work with you.
London IVD process for grant applications
The graphic below describes how we support grant applications. If you would like to work with us, please contact us at least 6 weeks before the competition deadline to give us time to obtain approvals. If you send us your draft grant application in good time we may also be able to provide feedback that can boost your chances of success!
In order to use the name of NIHR London IVD Cooperative in your grant application you MUST have received a formal written proposal from us. This applies regardless of whether London IVD will be a co-applicant or sub-contractor to the project.
London IVD process for company-funded and academic projects
The process varies according to the objectives of the work. However, there are a number of general steps, as depicted in the graphic below. It usually takes between 6 and 18 weeks to scope out, agree and commence a company-funded project with London IVD Cooperative.
How we manage Intellectual Property (IP)
Our approach to handling IP varies according to the goals of client projects, as well as the exact role played by London IVD. Our standard policies are as follows:
For companies that have already achieved proof of concept: both parties (Imperial College and the company) grant each other licence to use IP generated from the project for research purposes. That means that Imperial College will retain the foreground IP on any research methodology developed, while IP regarding the development of a device will sit with the company.
For companies at early stages of product development: where companies have not developed an initial prototype, or do not have clear plans regarding how to achieve this, IP arrangements will discussed on a case by case basis. Foreground IP will typically lie with the lead applicant to allow better commercialisation. Royalties and/or equity will be discussed with Imperial Innovations (the IP vehicle of Imperial College).
We have developed – or supported the development of – several tools that diagnostics developers might find useful.
Point-Of-Care Key Evidence Tool (POCKET). Helps diagnostics developers understand the different types of evidence required to validate tests for use within the NHS. A paper version of the tool can be downloaded here – however an online version will be available soon.
Innovation stages tool. By answering a series of questions, you will learn about where you are in the product development pathway. You will also gain an insight into issues you might have to address, as well as ideas about how you can do this. The tool also provides information regarding potential sources of funding. View innovation stages tool.
Research Navigator. Helps innovators to navigate their way around the research sector in North West London. Also provides information regarding resources that may be accessed to support product development in the NHS context. View Research Navigator.
Imperial CrowdSolve. This tool, which is currently being piloted, provides a new way for organisations to gain access to the capability of the Imperial College research community. In response to problems submitted via the tool, relevant expertise and interest is crowdsourced from the research community to help address the issues and to find partners to develop projects. View Imperial CrowdSolve.