Participants receive up to £20,000 of support.
The project, called Wellbeing Accelerator, led by Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), is a research and development-focused programme that supports the early development of products and services with health and wellbeing applications.
The programme, which has been sponsored by InterMedi Group with ‘significant investment’, is open to businesses via a competitive application process and provides the accepted cohort with a wide range of support and mentorship to bring their innovations closer to market.
It follows a successful Wellbeing Accelerator programme in 2020 which saw 28 businesses supported, including Sheffield-based sleep-tech start-up SleepCogni which recently raised £1.4m to commercialise into the US market.
Richard Mills, chief executive of SleepCogni, said: “It’s great to see the accelerator programme back for a second year, and with more investment backing. We found the first intake a great help and supported SleepCogni in achieving a huge regulatory milestone with our FDA registration. I am looking forward to seeing which exciting companies make it on to the next programme.”
Based at the £14m Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, participants have access to world-class research and development facilities to help create designs and prototypes, as well as a clinical research facility.
The AWRC uses its network of supportive individuals and organisations to help start-up founders set up new collaborations and secure public and private investment.
Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre
Businesses can apply to join the Wellbeing Accelerator via the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre website, and the window for applications is open until Monday 14 February 2022. Applications will be reviewed and decisions made by mid-March 2022, for virtual onboarding from late-March 2022. All programme activities will take place between April 2022 and July 2022.
Jason Brannan, deputy director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre has a vision to transform lives through innovations that help people move and our Wellbeing Accelerator is an important part of how we do this, alongside our wider programmes for more established larger businesses. We are delighted with the support from InterMedi Group to provide on the ground R&D to help companies develop their technologies and services for health and wellbeing.”
Bernard McMahon, director at InterMedi Group, said: “At InterMedi Group we believe in investing in the development of revolutionary technologies to achieve better patient outcomes, so our mission is very much aligned with that off the AWRC. It’s because of that alignment that we are delighted to be supporting the AWRC’s Wellbeing Accelerator, providing a platform to get new technologies nearer to market and ‘transforming lives through innovations that help people move.”
The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre aims to improve health and wellbeing through innovations that help people move, trying to prevent and treat chronic disease through co-designed research into physical activity – whilst also attracting new jobs and investment to the region.