A new £3 million brain and spinal injury health technology research centre is set to open at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

The Cambridge HealthTech Research Centre, which will open in April, aims to make a significant contribution to the fight against brain and spinal injuries, which see one person admitted to hospital every 90 seconds in the UK.

Funded as part of a £3 million award from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the health facility is one of 14 similar centres across England aiming to bring together health partners, businesses, and patients.

The centre will develop tech solutions intended to enhance hospital care and help patients live more independently at home.

Royston Crow: Professor Peter HutchinsonProfessor Peter Hutchinson (Image: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

The facility will be directed by Professor Peter Hutchinson and Mr Alexis Joannides, who are academic neurosurgeons at Addenbrooke’s.

Both stressed the importance of listening to patients' needs and perspectives.

Professor Hutchinson said: "The centre will work with industry, including Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and local innovation clusters across the UK, to develop new medical technologies and diagnostics.

"This increases the chance of adoption by the NHS and others."

Mr Joannides added: "Our new centre will enable us to work effectively with inventors, academics, and clinicians within the UK and beyond to identify, evaluate, and implement meaningful solutions to improve the lives of people affected by brain injury."

Royston Crow: Dr Alexis JoannidesDr Alexis Joannides (Image: Cambridgeshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

The centre also plans to deliver a dedicated HealthTech fellowship training programme for health professionals and partners.

Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), including NeuronGuard and digital start-up Little Journey, are among the businesses currently collaborating with the centre.

NeuronGuard, which has offices in Great Shelford, is working on the development of a portable device designed to preserve brain function following trauma events.


Little Journey helps families visiting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by providing a virtual tour in advance.

Dr Ian Newington, NIHR assistant director of innovations, said: "It is no surprise that Cambridge University Hospitals has been successfully designated as a HealthTech Research Centre.

"I look forward to continuing to support them in this new stage of the journey to help identify and develop innovative new inventions."