MediCity attracts new globally-driven companies

Canadian company MetaOptima Technology Incorporated is one of five new companies to join MediCity, the UK's rapidly-expanding innovation hub for consumer healthcare, medical technology, diagnostics and beauty products.

Canadian company MetaOptima Technology Incorporated is one of five new companies to join MediCity, the UK's rapidly-expanding innovation hub for consumer healthcare, medical technology, diagnostics and beauty products.

Four further companies, uMotif Digital Health, Clearview Med. UK, MindforYou and Saflushmyss are now part of a globally-driven community of 33 start-up and growing companies who have chosen the Nottingham Enterprise Zone hub on the Boots site in Beeston as their base.

MediCity is a collaboration between Boots, the UK's leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, and BioCity, the UK's leading life sciences incubation company. Nottingham Trent University is a member of BioCity Nottingham, was a founding leading partner in its creation and continues to play a strong role as a board member in relation to its development.

MetaOptima technology is applied to the identification and management of skin conditions, in particular the early detection of skin cancers. The team has developed the first home-use smartphone screening device, Molescope, which takes high quality images and shares them with clinicians using the MetaOptima online platform DermEngine. In time, the technology will be applied to other areas of dermatology, skin care and beauty therapies.

London-based uMotif Digital Health, founded in 2012, has produced mobile and web apps to help patients and their clinicians to track, understand and monitor long term conditions such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and mental health. With a reach into the USA, the UK and Australia, the company's technology is already being applied to 13 different clinical conditions. Founders Bruce Hellman and Ben James say they expect to tap into MediCity's connections and new ways of thinking to drive the business forward.

Clearview Med.UK is working to improve the understanding and treatment of the eye condition amblyopia, or lazy eye. This pre-start venture is being established by Dr Musarat Awan, whose extensive experience as a clinician, teacher, and researcher has identified the potential for innovative treatments, including development of a novel eye patch. Musarat is also developing an online community to give support and advice to the parents and carers of children living with the condition. She values the contact with other like-minded entrepreneurs and being part of the wider healthcare-focussed MediCity community.

Minimising the spread of infection from public conveniences is behind Saflushmyss, the design-led company founded by inventor Grahame White. A flushing toilet can propel micro-organisms in water droplets up to two meters from the bowl increasing the risk of infection especially in hospital, airport and food preparation environments. Grahame's ‘smart' toilet systems mean the lids are securely closed until the flush-settle cycle is finished.

MindforYou provides supported holidays for people with dementia and their carers that they can enjoy together. Founders Carol Sargent and Jo Harris have both personal and professional experience of supporting the dementia partnership. MindforYou recognise the health and wellbeing benefits their supported holidays can have and are working with Loughborough University to document these benefits. As a company they intend to work alongside and learn from other MediCity companies focusing on wellbeing, and believe there is a potential opportunity to establish a dementia design and technology suite on site.

David Browning, Managing Director of MediCity, has worked with each new company to enable them to make the most of being part of the innovation hub.

He said: "Our vision has always been to create a globally-focussed community of like-minded innovative entrepreneurs operating from the centre of the UK. Nottingham is a recognised world-class cluster for healthcare and medical technology; the support we provide through MediCity and with our partner Boots UK, means these companies have a head start on the competition. Each brings a unique set of qualities and a willingness to collaborate with each other."

Mark Chivers, Enterprise Zone Director, Boots, comments: "We are thrilled to welcome these five new companies to the team of innovators now based at MediCity. With 33 companies in total now on board and established within the hub, the vision to create a buzzing centre for health, beauty and wellness innovation is being realised."

MediCity will hold its annual Innovators' Week from 3 – 5 November 2015. This year's event will focus on the growth in personal health-management through the use of new technology.

  • Notes for editors

    About MediCityMediCity is a collaboration between Boots, a member of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and BioCity, the UK's leading life sciences incubation business. MediCity provides a stimulating and supportive business development environment for innovators in consumer healthcare, medical technology, diagnostics, and beauty products.

    MediCity is based within the Nottingham Enterprise Zone on the Boots site in Beeston and offers the ideal environment for both start-up and established companies to grow and achieve success. MediCity is also a unique venue for conferences and events of eventually up to 1,000 delegates focused on health, beauty and wellbeing.

    Businesses housed at MediCity benefit from BioCity's experience of growing successful businesses in specialised incubator environments and Walgreens Alliance Boots expertise in the global healthcare market. Hot desks and "pods" create a flexible working environment for individuals or small teams at the very early stages of developing a business idea. MediCity provides laboratory and office facilities, access to high-end equipment, shared services, training, business support and access to investment.

    Support for the early stage businesses based at MediCity is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

    About the Nottingham Enterprise Zone
    In March 2011, the Boots site in Beeston, Nottingham, was awarded Enterprise Zone status by the UK Government. Enterprise Zones are designated areas with incentives to encourage the creation of new businesses, which will contribute to the growth of local and national economies.

    The Nottingham Enterprise Zone is comprised of part of the Boots site in Beeston and three other smaller sites – the Beeston Business Park, the Nottingham Science Park and the MediPark site (at Queens Medical Centre) which together make up 286 acres (116 hectares).The Boots site in total consists of 279 acres (113 hectares) and the vision is to create a UK centre for innovation in health beauty and wellbeing in Nottingham. The site will offer a cost effective, high quality, centrally located site for health and wellness businesses such as business incubators, start-ups and small and medium enterprises. As well as existing buildings suitable for redevelopment, the site also includes around 100 acres (40 hectares) of brownfield land suitable for development.

    About Boots UK
    Boots UK (boots.com), the UK's leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.  With 2,511* stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK's leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves. *As at 28 February 2015 excluding equity method investments

    About BioCity
    BioCity is an international hub for entrepreneurial activity in the life sciences.

    Established in 2003, BioCity was one of the first Bioscience incubators offering state-of-the-art laboratories and commercial office space to rent, alongside business support and services to early stage companies in the life sciences sector.

    BioCity is entirely focussed on helping to create and grow successful life science companies. This is achieved by firstly applying its team of highly experienced industry professionals to rigorously test and guide early stage business opportunities through to the point where they can raise investment or start trading. BioCity then creates the optimum environment for emerging businesses to thrive by offering state-of-the-art laboratories and commercial office space, shared services, training, business support and access to investment. The success of this formula is shown in a 91% survival rate of BioCity-based companies over 11 years.

    In 2012, BioCity established BioCity Scotland, near Glasgow and in 2013 BioHub at Alderley Park and later MediCity on the Nottingham Enterprise Zone on the Alliance Boots site in Nottingham.

    Over 200 companies have started life in a BioCity business incubator and have raised £50m of seed capital. This growth formula has helped make BioCity an international hub for entrepreneurial activity in the life sciences.

MediCity attracts new globally-driven companies

Published on 29 July 2015
  • Category: Press office; School of Science and Technology

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