Medilink East Midlands will help Leicestershire Life Science Firms ‘Get Smart’

01 March 2019

Life science companies in Leicester and Leicestershire can get ‘smart’ with their business operations, thanks to a project delivered by Medilink East Midlands and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Smart Life Sciences Technology Innovation & Commercialisation Enabler (SoLSTICE) is a £1.22million scheme, part-funded by ERDF, to provide support for companies in the Leicester and Leicestershire area. Help is available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who work, or want to work, in life sciences. Companies can apply for funding to develop products and services, attend specialist events and conferences, and undertake medical technology trials.

Medilink East Midlands – the industry support organisation for the East Midlands which supports new and existing life science companies - is delivering the SoLSTICE project and will help companies to access support and advice, in partnership with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

ERDF funding for SoLSTICE has been made available for the next three years, meaning that SoLSTICE is set to run until December 2021. Leicester and Leicestershire companies who sign up to the SoLSTICE programme will continue to receive wide-ranging business support. This includes help and advice from life science sector specialists from business, clinical and academic backgrounds, as well as grants for clinical evaluations, innovation development and specialist networking event attendance.

One company which has already benefitted from SoLSTICE support is ITS Designs – trading as Alert-it Care Alarms - which is one of the UK’s leading innovators and manufacturers of care alarm systems across the country. ITS Designs design, manufacture & supply all their products in Desford and have won a prestigious contract to supply the Norwegian government.

The company created the Alert-it radio system and pager (pictured), which is a proven, failsafe alarm system for protecting people by detecting epilepsy seizures and falls. Alert-it Care Alarms wanted to evolve their current technology to include low power Bluetooth, near field communication and connectivity to hospital nurse call – and looked to the SoLSTICE project for help.

To accelerate the project’s development, innovation advisers worked with ITS Designs and looked at where support could best be offered. It was found that a lack of resources was the largest stumbling block for the business and that ITS Designs could be eligible to apply for SoLSTICE grant support. Project advisers assisted ITS Designs throughout the application process and the company received an innovation support grant of £7,170 as part of the wider support offered as part of the SoLSTICE project. This has helped ITS Designs to get its new and improved technology closer to market, in a much more robust and quicker way than would have otherwise been possible.

Darren Clark, Chief Executive of Medilink East Midlands, said: “Whether it’s a lack of funding, contacts, or knowledge, life science companies can sometimes face considerable barriers in getting their products and services to market. By providing SoLSTICE support, we’re helping companies to overcome obstacles on the road to getting their products and services sold. We are extremely pleased to be working with our delivery partners to offer companies and entrepreneurs the sector-specific knowledge and support they need through this programme.”

For further information on the SoLSTICE project and to find out more about the support on offer, visit


For further information about this media release contact Medilink East Midlands Project Leader Marketing Sam Burbage, on 0115 822 3154 or by email at

Notes to Editors

About Medilink East Midlands

Medilink East Midlands is the region’s life science industry association, whose aim is to help companies establish, develop and grow. Its network of more than 4,400 contacts in over 1000 organisations represents all aspects of the sector, including private and public institutions; from multinationals to high potential start-ups, as well as the NHS and universities.

Medilink East Midlands is a founding member of Medilink UK; a national network supporting over 3,000 companies across the entire UK. Medilink provides specialist support to boost the region’s economic output from life sciences by overcoming barriers to growth. Medilink’s highly knowledgeable team is a proven and trusted source of expert assistance. For more information see website


About SoLSTICE: Smart Life Sciences Technology Innovation & Commercialisation Enabler
SoLSTICE is an initiative, which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Medilink East Midlands. The key aims of SoLSTICE are to deliver high quality innovation support, work alongside emerging Life Science technologies, enable transfer of technologies between sectors and increase Research & Development investment. The total cost of the project is £1,225,003 of which £512,354 is of ERDF value.

About the European Regional Development Fund (SoLSTICE)
The project is receiving up to £512,354 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit