Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC)

Creating new medical technologies

Doctors working with technology

The Innovation and Knowledge Centre in Regenerative Therapies and Devices (RTD) at the University of Leeds is a five-year project that has received £10 million in Government funding in order to establish an internationally recognised platform for the creation of new medical technologies. Therapies and devices which facilitate the regeneration of body tissues offer the potential to revolutionise healthcare and be a catalyst for economic growth, creating a new business sector within healthcare technology. This centre is focused on emerging novel technologies in biological scaffolds, nano-biomaterials and self assembling peptides. 

Project overview

This rapidly growing multidisciplinary area requires innovative scientists and engineers who can cross disciplinary boundaries, work in broader systems based projects, and work flexibly and collaboratively with industry and clinicians at different stages of the innovation pipeline. The Centre and its partners aim to develop new and different approaches to innovation at an early stage of the innovation cycle, to substantially accelerate innovation, develop pre-clinical simulation methods to act as surrogates for clinical trials, shorten the time period to market and provide a robust and sustainable platform for knowledge transfer that mitigates technology risks associated with this emergent sector.

This is the only centre of its kind in the UK that has close involvement with the Business School through C-TIE. An integral element of the project will see management researchers studying the innovation practices at the interface between natural science research, clinical practice and business. The close collaboration between medical scientists and the Business School provides an unparalleled opportunity to undertake a longitudinal study of academic entrepreneurship and technology innovation in open and collaborative environments. Innovation based upon new knowledge generated at universities is recognised as an important area of management study and the RTD provides a unique opportunity to study these innovation processes.

Research focus

Throughout the lifetime of the RTD programme, management researchers are expected to make contributions in the following specific areas:

  • Improving the design of innovation processes through an action research engagement with those implementing a stage-gate process so that evaluations can be fed back in real time in order to affect improvements
  • Developing approaches to foster decision making under uncertainty and ambiguity (e.g. option reasoning methods)
  • Develop approaches to integrate market intelligence and clinical needs into the stage-gate decision making process
  • Understand the leadership requirements in managing science driven projects under uncertainty
  • Understanding the roles played by different members of project teams in reducing inefficiencies in the innovation process
  • Identifying and structuring processes that enable collaborative innovation
  • Identifying the capabilities for sensing new market opportunities created by new emerging technologies
  • Developing new approaches for promoting entrepreneurship and creativity into the process of science driven innovation (i.e. tools to aid innovation)
  • Comparisons of the Leeds approach to innovation with others and the identification of drivers for efficient innovation and best innovation practice
  • Comparative benchmarking of research centres where the mission is to conduct high impact research in areas of emerging technology