Research laboratory

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

How London IVD Helps SMEs

London IVD supports many small and medium-sized health technology companies (SMEs) at all stages of their product development, from helping identify unmet clinical need, to designing and running clinical studies.

We work in partnership with medical device, digital technology and diagnostic companies to help them successfully translate innovative ideas into the clinical setting and then create the evidence base needed to drive access, adoption and ultimately accelerate sales. We’re able to do this through our links with world class healthcare facilities and academic institutions.

Our team of researchers and subject matter experts help SMEs by providing advice on:

  • Securing funding
  • Designing and managing clinical trials
  • Measuring the health economics to take a device, technology or software idea from innovation to scaled solution
  • The impact new solutions will have on people and systems once deployed; a valuable insight in managing adoption.

We use our expertise, knowledge and networks to design and carry out high quality research on behalf of the MedTech SMEs we work with. We provide evidence of feasibility, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of interventions, bringing benefit to patients and supporting growth in the health tech sector.

What London IVD needs from SMEs

Our research packages are tailored according to the needs of each SME we work with, based on where they are in the development of their product, technology or software. To enable us to do this, we need some information from you. Here are the steps:

  • Firstly, we encourage innovators to make an enquiry using our contact form
  • The information provided will help us set up a confidentiality agreement
  • After a confidentiality agreement is signed, we will discuss funding options. We work with innovators on grant-funded projects, company-funded projects and academic collaborations
  • The funding model determines the structure of the project. Once this is secured, the research project will start.

Case study

London IVD helped biology engineering SME Ingenza to accelerate the clinical evaluation and adoption of a new test for identifying the correct placement of nasogastric feedback tubes.

Read the case study

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Does London IVD focus on certain clinical specialties?

London IVD has clinical specialists working in the following clinical areas. Don’t worry, if your product, technology or software doesn’t fit neatly into one of the areas we can still help you, and frequently work with SMEs outside of these specialist areas:

  • Cancer
  • Gut health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Emergency medicine


Who does London IVD collaborate with?

London IVD collaborates with academics, health professionals, businesses, patients, and families in gathering evidence and undertaking research to support SMEs to develop effective solutions for UK healthcare.

What support can London IVD provide to MedTech SMEs?

Our team specialises in defining new ways to collect research and undertake evaluations of new diagnostic devices, health technologies and digital solutions before they are used in real life scenarios.


We undertake the following research:

  • Clinical studies
  • Health economics
  • Patient and public engagement
  • Human factors
  • Laboratory validation
  • Data science
  • Adoption


What are unmet needs and how are they validated?

Unmet needs are things which make day-to-day living difficult for patients or a problem in a health care setting that does not currently have a solution. Unmet needs can be identified by anyone, regardless of profession or age.

Validating unmet needs is a critical step in developing health technology. Unmet needs are validated in the following ways:

  • By speaking to other people in similar situations to find out if they have the same unmet need
  • By reviewing and monitoring known unmet needs to identify potential trends
  • By conducting a scoping exercise to find out if an innovation already exists that addresses the unmet need
  • By engaging with stakeholders and end users to find out if they think the innovation is a good idea
  • By conducting preliminary searches to find out if there is any protection, such as intellectual property, that may prevent the innovation from being developed.


I have a commercially available product I think is suitable for the NHS, can London IVD help?

London IVD works with SMEs at all stages of their produce development, including if your product is commercially available and you are looking for additional evidence to increase adoption and help scaling. If your product is commercially available and you are looking for your product to be adopted by the NHS, you may also find support in your local Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

Please complete our collaboration request form if you would like our support. We will ask you to indicate what stage the product is at when completing the form.

How does London IVD manage intellectual property?

Our approach to handling IP varies according to the goals of the project, as well as the exact role played by London IVD.

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. This means that Imperial College will retain the foreground IP on any research methodology developed, while IP regarding the development of a device will remain 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 be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Foreground IP will typically lie with the innovating company to allow better commercialisation. Royalties and/or equity will be discussed with Imperial Innovations, which is the IP vehicle of Imperial College.


What funding options are available to me?

There are a variety of funding options available to innovators, but they can be complex to navigate. Funding options include grant funding, company-funded projects, and academic collaborations. There are a number of competitions for grant funding that run on a regular basis. We provide more information on each of these funding options on our Industry and Innovators page.

How does London IVD support grant applications?

If you would like to work with us on a grant funding application, please contact us at least six weeks before the competition deadline. We are happy to provide advice and feedback on applications if shared in plenty of time.

To discuss a grant application, please complete the application form. If required, we will then ask you to complete a confidentiality agreement. Two weeks later, we will instigate a meeting to discuss your application before asking you to share a draft at least three weeks before the competition deadline. We will then provide a formal proposal ahead of the deadline for integrating into the application.


What do I need to do to make sure my grant application is successful?

Not every grant application will be successful. However, London IVD is happy to provide advice and support funding applications with a formal proposal that meet the criteria laid out in the application form. Each submitted form will be assessed by our team before a decision is made.