About the programme 

The West Midlands Health Tech 6D Innovation Accelerator (6D-IA) is a government supported programme, led by the University of Birmingham, that brings together key stakeholders in the region (universities, hospitals, industry, technology and innovation centres) to address issues bringing new health and medical technologies to market. 

The programme aims to create a supportive environment through centrally coordinated activities that will help companies navigate obstacles to accelerate the commercialisation process. 

The 6Ds include:

  • Diagnosis of company needs
  • Definition of major NHS and industry-based challenges to target
  • Development and refinement of prototype products
  • Deployment of innovation in real-world NHS settings
  • Diversification of supply chains, skills and services
  • Demonstration of significant economic and health benefits for our region

The West Midlands Health Tech Innovation Accelerator (WMHTIA) is funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, in partnership with Innovate UK and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

    Our involvement 

    We are working with partners to address regional NHS needs and challenges within the healthtech and medtech sectors. We will support the programme in two ways: firstly, by launching a Midlands branch of SPARK to assist innovators as they navigate the complexities of the healthcare landscape; secondly, by providing assistance in medical device prototyping.

    SPARK The Midlands 

    'SPARK The Midlands' is the first UK branch of Stanford's prestigious SPARK programme which has a mission to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and practical application in patient care. The initiative provides expert knowledge and skills in drug and diagnostic development, as well as connecting researchers with crucial sources of funding to transform research discoveries from bench to the bedside.

    Medical device prototyping 

    Academics from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences are collaborating with regional stakeholders to support medical device prototyping. The research team will benefit from access to advanced analysis tools for medical data, including analysis of ECG, EEG, EMG, OCT, Confocal imaging, CT, and MRI DICOM sets. Their expertise in segmentation and anatomical modelling, applied artificial intelligence technologies, as well as both hardware and software design for medical devices, enhances the journey from innovation to real-world application.