Second huge public grant for Sheffield sleep device inventors

A Sheffield sleep company has secured a second government grant, worth £230,000.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 6:52 am
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 10:26 am
Dr Antonia Ypsilanti, Dr Maan van de Werken, CSO at SleepCogni and Dr Lambros Lazuras.

SleepCogni has developed a patented medical device to beat insomnia.

Its scientific and commercial potential has been acknowledged for the second time by the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, following an award in 2017.

SleepCogni will use the money to fund research at Sheffield Hallam University to optimise ‘biofeedback algorithms’ on its device – a hoop which produces sounds and lights designed to send people to sleep.

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Some 80 insomnia suffers will be involved. The cash will also help pay to get it approved by health bodies.

CEO Richard Mills said: “It is great to again receive funding from Innovate UK for a key part of our research and development.

“In addition, the recognition we received by Innovate UK and by the independent experts that assessed our application, strengthens our resolve to materialise our vision for a solution to insomnia through our technology.

“This award comes at a great time, as we are looking to raise new investment for the next phase of our business, preparing for commercialisation.”

Part of the technology involves distracting patients with tasks which helps focus their attention, reduce rumination and worrying thoughts and allow them to wind down and sleep, ‘ultimately building a renewed positive association with sleep’.

SleepCogni received a grant of almost £500,000 from InnovateUK in 2017. It followed a £485,000 investment by Mercia Fund management the year before.

Mr Mills added: “We are making amazing progress.

“I suffered from insomnia for over a decade. Sleep is pretty complex but there is some clear science that you need to build the bigger picture.

“Our company may be creating the perfect clinical, personalised algorithm to help the user wind down and sleep better. More importantly, SleepCogni allows the user to manage their own insomnia.”

Dr Maan Van de Werken, chief scientific officer, added: “We are very excited about our current progress in research and development.”