The simulation technology training project for tracheostomy care is making excellent progress with contracts awarded in phase 1 of the challenge to four companies.

The challenge was launched earlier this year by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Dragon’s Heart Institute, in partnership with Welsh Government, the SBRI Centre of Excellence and Cardiff Capital Region.

In its first of three phases, the project focused on the feasibility of ideas submitted by organisations in response to the challenge posed, which was to improve the way clinical training was provided virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four companies awarded contracts in phase one are Rescape Innovation Limited, Nudge Reality Limited, Tru Corp Limited, and Aspire2Be. All four companies recently presented at a project board meeting on their progress ahead of the end of phase one on the 6th August.

These four companies will be eligible to apply for further funding for phase 2, which begins on 11 August to develop their solutions before testing them as part of phase 3 in real life operating conditions within Cardiff and Vale UHB.

Paul Twose, Consultant Therapist at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Clinical Lead for the challenge, said, “I am thrilled with the progress that the companies taking part in phase one of the challenge have made to date. It was fascinating to see their proposed solutions recently and I cannot wait to see how the challenge progresses and to work with them on their solutions in real settings in the very near future. Already we can see the huge benefits of the NHS working in this way with industry and I would like to thank the teams at the SBRI Centre of Excellence, the Dragon’s Heart Institute, and the Cardiff Capital Region for their support of the challenge so far.”

Gareth Browning, CCR Challenge Fund Manager said, “Challenge-led innovation is about pushing beyond the conventional boundaries of how public sector organisations buy goods and services.  Through the accelerated development phase and positive energy and commitment from all stakeholders involved, all of the proposals selected to go to the next stage show excellent promise. Hopefully the success of this initiative will result in early adoption, not just within Cardiff and Vale UHB but across the wider NHS too. It’s also really encouraging to see our local businesses competing on a national stage to win competitive contracts. This augers really well for the future plans we have for the Challenge fund approach”

Lynda Jones, Centre Manager of the SBRI Centre of Excellence, said, “It has been a pleasure project managing the Simulation Technology Training project and providing assistance to the Dragon Institute, the team at Cardiff and Vale Health Board have been really supporting and engaging  in the SBRI process.  We look forward to our continued relationship and are excited to see how the solutions develop.”

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