A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Aston University and innovative healthcare company, Kimal Ltd, has resulted in the development of a new business model for the company to help them provide more efficient home based alternatives to in-hospital services.
Kimal Ltd develops, manufactures, markets and distributes innovative medical devices, capital equipment and customised procedural solutions globally. It has an excellent reputation as a provider of renal haemodialysis products and services to the NHS.
The company originally entered into the two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with academics from Aston Business School to respond to changing technology and service delivery in the renal haemodialysis sector. Government policy called for a move from “in-hospital” to “in-home” services. Kimal noticed that the population of patients requiring treatment was growing rapidly year on year, and the healthcare market was becoming commercially tougher as the NHS faced increasing demands to reduce costs.
The project provided a strong business template for building effective market models across different product ranges and disciplines to enable Kimal to launch a more efficient “in-home” renal haemodialysis service.
Dr Graham Leask, from the Economics and Strategy Research Group of Aston Business School and academic lead on the project said: ‘We were delighted to work with Kimal on this project. It provided a great opportunity for us to learn more about this specific healthcare sector and to further understand the issues that an innovative company like Kimal faces when marketing its products to an increasingly cost constrained NHS.’
He added: ‘The technology Strategy (TSB) recently assessed the project and awarded it high praise, grading it as “good”. The relationship has been so rewarding for both partners that we have entered into discussion about additional collaboration in the future.’
The project has been well received throughout. In 2011, the success of the project was recognised when the team won the Innovation Award at the Medilink West Midlands Healthcare Business Awards. The awards, hosted by industry support specialists, Medilink West Midlands, celebrate the commercial triumphs of the very best firms in the region.
Mark Jenner, Business Unit Leader, Commercial & Supply at Kimal said: ‘The work undertaken by Aston Business School enhanced our understanding of the current NHS agenda and healthcare market in general. We hope that this new business model can be used to help us expand our services further in a highly competitive market.’
The project was part of the EREBUS capacity building cluster, managed by Aston University. The EREBUS cluster is a business research partnership between Aston, Birmingham and Warwick universities. Its role is to assist in the development of West Midlands’ SMEs, operating in the Finance, Energy and Health Technologies sectors, to build innovation and improve business performance.
The partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme. KTP aims to help businesses and organisations to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base.
For further information on working in partnership with Aston University contact the Business Partnership Unit on 0121 204 4542 or contact Emma Sutton email@example.com.