posted on 2006-05-04, 15:06authored byIan Walsh, Marc Clement
Development of a medical device is a multi-disciplinary activity. This is particularly the case for laser based instruments which encompass mechanical, optical, hardware and software sub-systems, together with the essential industrial design process. In this field, as in many others, small companies are highly innovative. However, the broad range of expertise needed to realise any innovation can be beyond the company's finite resource base. This can lead to extended time scales resulting in lost market opportunity. Financial constraints also make it difficult to use commercial consultancy services. Collaboration with an academic institution can assist in overcoming this dilemma. This process is not without its difficulties and challenges, since it bridges two cultures. However, if approached in an innovative and imaginative way, results can be achieved that are of mutual benefit. The paper reviews the challenges that were faced, the difficulties that were encountered and how these were addressed and managed, to the mutual benefit to both the academic and the industrial partners.
WALSH and CLEMENT, 2000. A collaboration leading to the introduction of an innovative medical device to the international market. IDATER 2000 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University