Medilink WM is the West Midlands Life Science gateway organisation who in conjunction with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) is coordinating our regional industrial activities and responses to this situation. If you’re a regional or national business or an organisation that would like to engage, take part or assist with our networks or other strategic approaches please complete our dedicated * ‘Big Ask’ Questionnaire.

In these critical times, it allows us to fulfill industry enquiries, track interests and share important opportunities with our networks, and establish how we can help each other during this COVID-19 crisis.

Can Medilink– Find it / Source it? – Big Ask #2

During the current pandemic we have been made aware of critical shortages other than that of personal protective equipment (PPE) – such as Raw Materials, Goods, Skills & Services. This could be due to demand, supply chain failure or self-isolation. Medilink offers a free service to help. Find out more here

We will be posting all requests and supply opportunities as we receive them here on our dedicated COVID-19 Opportunities page.

If you have an idea or wish to discuss any of the posted opportunities please drop us an email to info@medilinkwm.co.uk with the opportunity title that you would like to discuss, so one of our team can contact you.




US calls on UK Industry for new technologies to the Director for Developmental Test, Evaluation and Prototyping (DTEP) DOD R&E for their new Global Needs Statement.

The task is intended to identify innovative technologies being independently developed by industry.

Open to all – small, medium, and large companies – that feel they have products or services that could meet the areas described in the Global Need Statement. This agile innovation outreach process casts a wide net to collect compelling prototyping ideas, not just in defence, but also in autonomy, AI/ML and biotechnology.

Find out more here 


Real-World Implementation Challenge Award

Invention for Innovation (i4i) Challenge Award Call – 10 Real-World Implementation, will fund investigations of medtech innovations in healthcare settings. Find out more here.

The aim is to shorten the evidence gap between the safety/efficacy typical of a newly or nearly CE marked technology and what is required for decisions. At the same time, de-risk the product for follow-on investment.


Testing Consumables

  1. Equipment

Additional lab PCR equipment and supplies are required that uses open source consumables (i.e. those that can be used on a variety of equipment) and should meet the following criteria:

  • Open PCR systems with high throughput – loan or purchase
  • KingFisher Flex with 96 deep well head (5400360) – loan or purchase
  1. Sampling Kits

Additional lab supplies are required that uses consumables (i.e. those that can be used on a variety of equipment) and should meet the following criteria:

  •  Swabs. e.g nasopharangeal with min breakpoint of 80mm
  • Tubes eg. 75-100mm to accommodate bar codes
  • Viral transfer media eg. UTM / VTM or Liquid Ames Medium approved for viral transport

Specifications of COVID-19 PCR Testing Consumables – Swabs

  1. Reagents

Additional lab supplies are required that uses consumables (i.e. those that can be used on a variety of equipment) and should meet the following criteria:

  •  RNA extraction
  • Probes & Primers

Extraction Kit/Reagents and PCR Kit/Reagents listed here

  1. Other Consumables

Additional lab supplies are required that uses consumables (i.e. those that can be used on a variety of equipment) and should meet the following criteria:

  • Various plates eg. Deep 96 well plates
  • Pipette tips (various)
  • Handsafe long cuff gloves

Full details here


Lab requirements

Additional lab capacity including RNA extraction and PCR equipment that uses open source consumables (i.e. those that can be used on a variety of equipment) and should meet the following criteria:

  • Sample reception area for accepting and logging samples adhering to national infection control procedures;
  • Sample tracking capability (e.g. barcoding) for the end to end pathway;
  • Access to Category 3 compliant facilities or Category 2+ if risk assessed and confirmed by HSE, if handling clinical samples prior to viral inactivation. Further information can be found here
  • Automated RNA extraction equipment (validated by the NHS or Public Health England)
  • Access to a Real Time PCR assay machine using an assay validated by the NHS or Public Health England.
  • Automated result analysis systems in line with national policy and working in conjunction with the SOPs in place within the partnering NHS pathology network
  • Quality processes in place including validation and verification methodologies
  • Specialist workforce available e.g. PhD students or post docs with relevant experience that can work in rotas according to the needs of the NHS

Full details here


Novel Testing Solutions

Testing Methods Sourcing Platform – a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, the UK Bioindustry Association, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and the Royal College of Pathologists.

In partnership with Crowdicity, they have launched a testing methods sourcing platform to collect ideas on these four specific challenges:

If you have a solution that addresses any of these challenges, please register and add them to the platform. They want to know:

  • What is your idea/offer?
  • Have you validated this method, if so, how and what were the results of the validation?
  • How quickly could this be deployed and what are the dependencies?
  • What is the likely production volume?
  • What are the risks and barriers to using this at scale?
  • Who are you already partnering with on this?


Funding for ideas that address COVID-19

UKRI will support excellent proposals up to 12-18 months duration. Find out more here.

Proposal should meet at least one of the following:

  • new research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the grant) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  • supports the manufacture and/or wide-scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
  • gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use



Business-led innovation in response to facilitate Society or Industries need during the COVID-19 Crisis

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in innovation projects. Find out more here.

The aim of this competition is to support UK businesses to focus on emerging or increasing needs of society and industries during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. By fast-tracking innovation, the UK will be better placed to maintain employment levels, a competitive position in global markets and make the UK more resilient to similar disruption.

Closed 17 April.


COVID-19: PPE Challenge

NIHR Surgical Med Tech Cooperatives want to know what the real day-to-day challenges are for front line healthcare workers in maintaining PPE, or simple, effective solutions that might be rapidly scaled up. Find out more here

This has prompted the Surgical MedTech Co-operative (one of NIHR’s Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) to launch its PPE Challenge to protect front line workers from COVID-19.



Call for ‘Rapid Response’ projects

EIT Health has opened a “Rapid Response” request for proposals from EIT Health Partners in collaboration with other partners, to support immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more here



COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances

Do you have an innovative or novel approach to get ambulances cleaner quicker to help combat Coronavirus? Find out more here



Call for supply of COVID-19 antigen testing kit

The UK government has made an urgent call to the life sciences sector to help increase the supply of antigen testing kits for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The requirement is for commercial supply of the following:

  • Full testing packages 
    Any of the separate components within the testing package
    Any alternative tests the government should be considering

Find out more here



Call for innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19

NHSX is calling on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 per company to test their solution. Find out more here



Government call for businesses to help make NHS ventilators

Thank you to all those who offered support. The Government has received a large number of offers and will be matching requirements and will reach out to companies individually. To offer support with existing ventilator stock, please complete this online form.https://consultations.dhsc.gov.uk/MVD2020 . You can also offer wider coronavirus support from your business.

The original ventilator call is now closed, however, Medilink WM is keen to hear from businesses with an interest to supply. Please email info@medilinkwm.co.uk and we will be in touch.

*The information will not be supplied to any marketing or other third parties – we will seek your permission before any data transfer unless you have stated differently – in which case an instant return will ensure we can quickly respond to inquiries.

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