Space Ideas Hub creates business opportunities in medical imaging

Posted by pt91 at Dec 21, 2011 12:05 PM |
Event on 24 January to showcase medical applications of space technology for SMEs
Space Ideas Hub creates business opportunities in medical imaging

A mock-up of the Mini Gamma Ray Camera in a clinical setting.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 December 2011

The Space IDEAS Hub, a business facing team within the internationally acclaimed Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester, is hosting a free seminar for business on Tuesday 24th Jan 2012.  

‘Medical Imaging – Opportunities for Business’ is the first major event to be run by the Space IDEAS Hub and showcases some of the technologies initially developed for space missions that are now helping improve patient care and discover new drugs.  The Space IDEAS Hub’s goal is to help business and the seminar will also focus on how companies can develop their own products and access the expertise in the University to their commercial advantage.  

The seminar will look particularly at technology that has been developed within the University’s Space Research Centre.  One example is in the field of nuclear medicine, a “high tech” medical imaging specialty that uses radioactive compounds in the body as tracers for diagnosis and therapy. Most nuclear medicine scanners are large instruments. The University of Leicester is developing small, high resolution gamma-ray camera for use in the operating theatre, intensive care units and at the patient bed side. The new camera will greatly assist surgeons in the localisation of tumours and lymph nodes during surgery. The diagnostic investigations cover a range of medical conditions and are important in oncology, cardiology endocrinology and neurology.

Other technologies to be presented include the imaging of single molecules for drug discovery and super high speed imaging to view cellular level activity.

In addition, there will be sessions to help businesses develop their own products and markets.  Topics include: access to funding, working with a university, marketing and social media and selecting export markets.

The Space IDEAS Hub is a three-year £2million project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Its aim is to promote knowledge transfer related to space technologies developed at the University of Leicester, offering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises  (SMEs) within the East Midlands direct access to the expertise and facilities at the University’s Space Research Centre.

The Space IDEAS Hub demonstrates how the latest advances in space science, technology and engineering can provide practical benefits to industry; the Hub will act as a driver for innovation within the region’s businesses.

The University of Leicester is already highly regarded for knowledge transfer between its space research activities and industrial sectors such as food and drink, security, environment and healthcare.

Dr Andy Powell, Project Engineer for Space IDEAS Hub, said:   “We are really excited to be hosting our first event.  Medical imaging is one of the specialities that the Space Research Centre has developed from its leading edge space technology and we are delighted to showcase it.

“The ethos of the Space IDEAS Hub is to help business and we’re really pleased to include practical advice to companies wanting to develop their own products.  We’re also giving companies a chance to market themselves to potential customers and partners in the audience through a two-minute presentation and a poster display free of charge.

“The seminar is attracting interest from companies interested in bio-imaging and how it can be applied to their own market or products, as well as from medical physicists interested in the latest developments in their field.”

‘Medical Imaging – Opportunities for Business’ is a free seminar taking place on Tuesday 24th January 2012 between 9am and 4.30pm in the Henry Wellcome Building, Lancaster Road, Leicester.

The event is co-hosted by Medilink EM and the University of Leicester. Medilink EM is the East Midlands life science industry association, whose aim is to help companies establish, develop and grow.

It has a network of more than 4,000 contacts in over 600 organisations representing all aspects of the sector, including private and public institutions; from multinationals to high potential start-ups, as well as the NHS and universities.

Medilink EM provides specialist support to boost the region’s economic output from life sciences by overcoming barriers to growth and Medilink’s highly knowledgeable team is a proven and trusted source of expert assistance.

For more information or to register please see:

Notes to Editors: Further details are available from Dr Andy Powell, Project Engineer, Space IDEAS Hub, Space Research Centre, University of Leicester, tel 0116 2297732 email

About ERDF nationally

The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development.

The ERDF objectives for England are:

  • Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer

  • Stimulating  enterprise and supporting successful business

  • Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption

  • Building sustainable communities

  • Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only – as part of their Convergence Programme).

A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as Government Offices, RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region.

For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit or

About ERDF in the East Midlands

The East Midlands is eligible for €268.5m (approximately £210m at current exchange rates) between 2007 and 2013, which when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately £420m – a significant investment in the economic development of the region.

The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU’s Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.’

East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is responsible for the programme management and delivery of the region’s 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme.  The responsibility for ERDF programme management was transferred from the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) to emda following a decision by the UK Government to seek greater alignment between ERDF and regional strategies and funding streams.  The 2007-13 ERDF Programme is therefore set firmly within the framework of the Regional Economic Strategy.

A Programme Monitoring Committee, chaired by the Regional Director of Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), guides the strategic direction of the programme and works closely with emda.

To find out more about ERDF, the region’s strategy for delivering the funds, how to apply for funding and how the programme is managed, please visit

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