As people are living longer, there is growing demand for solutions that can support those in later life. Thanks to a specialist accelerator programme, 40 innovative businesses from across the country who have all developed new products and services that support healthy longevity were able to connect with international markets to further grow their business.
The NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator Programme, delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice in partnership with the Healthcare Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), provided a free package of tailored support for eligible businesses to develop new products and services to help people remain healthy, active and connected as they age.
Selected from over 100 applicants of businesses from across the UK, from Guildford to Inverness, with a diverse range of products and services. The 40 participants took part in both group and individual sessions with the aim to accelerate their business to the next level.
Support sessions explored many aspects of maximising on business growth which included raising finance, identifying their barriers to growth and addressing how to overcome them. Each business received bespoke one to one support as well as the opportunity to learn from each other through group sessions.
The Healthcare KTN also provided facilitation into the UK innovation support ecosystem to ensure that participants had access to all appropriate aspects of funded support currently available. This included introductions to experts from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the China Britain Business Council (CBBC).
These introductions highlighted the international opportunities available in this fast growing sector with a particular focus on the rapidly expanding Chinese market.
Simon Hall, Project Manager with Oxford Innovation Advice comments, “The very welcome increase in longevity across the globe offers fantastic business opportunities for companies with products and services which improve quality of life so that we can all live better as well as living longer.
“It has been fantastic to work with these 40 progressive businesses to help them to bring their groundbreaking products and services to market as well as working alongside the partners of the programme who provide added value to businesses.”
The healthy longevity market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world and the market in China is the largest geographically-defined opportunity – combining the two was a great opportunity to explore.
All participants rated the programme highly, when completed a satisfaction survey it returned an average score of 4.7 out of 5.
Commenting on their experience of the programme, Ewan Cranwell at KiActive! Said; “The Healthy Ageing accelerator programme has been incredibly valuable on a number of fronts, both to us as a small, growing business, but also to myself on a personal level. The initial induction week hosted at NICA was very well organised, and the subsequent programme of support from Oxford Innovation Advice and Innovate UK KTN has been superb.
“The connections I have fostered with various industry stakeholders and other companies operating in a similar market space is another great benefit of the programme, and I look forward to maintaining and developing these relationships beyond the accelerator period. I would have no hesitation in recommending this, or other similar initiatives hosted by these organisations to anyone in the future.”
Participating businesses benefited from a nine week, fully funded support programme from experts across all delivery partners. Delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice on behalf of the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), working in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). Funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), delivered by Innovate UK part of UKRI.
To hear more about the success of the programme, watch a short video on the SME experiences of the UK Healthy Ageing Accelerator: Experiences of the UK China Accelerator – YouTube