Case Studies

European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT)

Organisation – European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT)

Issue – Challenge was to support EIT in creating and running a conference in Budapest (Hungary) that would support inclusivity through the community and forge opportune relationships between different cohorts.

Project – EIT Alumni conference (Budapest, Hungary)

Impact – Conference feedback was very encouraging – lessons learned was also recorded to help shape the next event. Interdisciplinary collaboration is increasing and we believe the alumni community will cross their normal subject boundaries and seek solutions with other cohorts.

EIT Health

Organisation – EIT Health is a network of best-in-class health innovators backed by the EU. They “deliver solutions to enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives by promoting innovation”. They connect the right people and the right topics across European borders, so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education and business – for the benefit of citizens.

Issue – Delays, expense and complexity of soft-tissue biopsy for breast cancer (differential diagnosis and resection of surgical site).

Project – Development of innovative healthcare technology.

Impact – Project has received next funding round and research continues in Portugal.

Note: It is our understanding that EIT Health (through Horizon 2020) will be maintaining academic and knowledge transfer links with the UK beyond Brexit.


Organisation – ReThinkX instigates mutual learning, problem-solving and synergy via curating a programme of events that channels the most pivotal medical and technology innovations. They have been endorsed by the Manchester Science Partnerships and hold a multitude of demos, conferences, and workshops.

Issue – Introducing clinical aspects into the organisation to help support design thinking and problem-solving. I.e. bringing practicality and real-world experience to the innovation debate.

Project – Advisory board/strategic consulting.

Impact – Students were able to align their ongoing medical studies with new medical/healthcare developments and see beyond their role as simply working their way up through the NHS system. They could appreciate how stepping outside of direct clinical work could allow them to help drive innovations that benefit thousands.

The University of Manchester – Manchester Business School

Organisation – Manchester Business School & The Cabinet Office.

Project – UK Third Sector Consultation (charities).

Issue – Poor charity collaboration and poor understanding of basic marketing and business principles e.g. spending money on websites with no call to action or means of promoting it. Paying accountants to do bookkeeping and not seeking this as part of a local firms corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Impact – Outputs used in Manchester Business School marketing materials. Outputs used by Cabinet Office to influence third sector policy.

Natural Born Media

Organisation – Various Healthcare Clinics

Project – Improve the number of enquiries and new clients (hot leads) per month.

Issue – Unoptimised search engine strategy i.e. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Impact – Improved SEO return on investment by 500% and increased new client consultations by approx 400%. Cross-referral network developed through local businesses.

Sleep Cogni

Organisation – SleepCogni is a Sheffield based Medtech company that is developing a treatment for insomnia sufferers. It combines cognitive behavioural therapy using biofeedback (through visual, auditory and tactile cues) to help you relearn sleep. The personalised biofeedback is based on the measurement of a range of physiological and behavioural measures related to sleep.

Project – Development of clinical claims for US FDA and MHRA approval prior to clinical trials.

Issue – With limited resources and pressure to grow the company valuation, a more focused approach was required for clinical claim validation.

Impact – Choosing to deal with one key treatment (insomnia) allowed a viable clinical study to be passed through the medical ethics committee and secured the next round of funding.

Future Effects

Organisation – Future Effects

Project – The City and the City (BBC2) – Special Visual Effects (physical)

Issue – Greenscreen shot required of actor (David Morrissey) in underground city reservoir (for correct/ continuity lighting) falling into water backward from ~15 feet.

Impact –  Safety maintained and high-quality visual effect achieved.

British Sleep Society

Organisation – The British Sleep Society (BSS) is a professional organisation for medical, scientific and healthcare workers dealing with sleeping disorders. They are a registered British charity and our ultimate aim is to improve public health by promoting education and research into sleep and its disorders.

Project – Research and promotion of collaboration to improve sleep medicine treatment within current resource parameters.

Issue – NHS sleep issue referral systems are disjointed and slow. Triage and referral pathways within current sleep issue referral system is misunderstood by consultants who need to collaborate (Neurologists, ENT, Respiratory, Cardiology and GMP).

Impact – Increased multidisciplinary collaboration between (usually) disparate healthcare professionals. Presented through the BSS Conference in Brighton (2017).

British Sleep of Dental Sleep Medicine

Organisation – The British Society of Dental Sleep Medicine is a Professional organisation for members of the dental team interested in helping patients overcome snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. We advocate medical diagnosis and the provision of the most appropriate therapy.

Project – Development of screening, diagnostic and treatment pathways.

Issue – The current triage is complicated and affected by new/developing NICE guidelines

Impact – Research, collaboration then rework of triage into visual decision tree format to allow simple and clinically effective triage of patients.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS (UK)

Organisation – Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (STH) NHS has around 17,000 employees and is one of the biggest employers locally. They reflect the diversity of local communities and are proud of their new and existing partnerships with local people, patients, neighbouring NHS organisations, local authority and charitable bodies.

As well as being home to one of three Major Trauma Centres for the Yorkshire and Humber region, they have a number of specialist medical and surgical services, many of which are internationally renowned, which include cancer treatment, spinal injuries, neurology, cardiology and stereo-tactic radiosurgery.

Project – Consulting on A&E capacity issues especially during the winter period.

Issue – Sheffield Teaching Hospitals are aware that the demand on the A&E services is currently stretched but also highly likely to become even more challenging for years to come. Statistics showed a reduction in performance (once normalised) against the national average.

Impact 8 developed and supported workshops with several PhD researchers in problem discovery and the development of several opportunities born from the project.

Impact – It appeared that although the statistics were normalised they were done so against national factors, which were not necessarily a true reflection on local performance. A need for improvement was still sought. Three outline plans were generated that helped to support capacity flexing, using pre-existing resources at minimal extra spend. Key factors included;

The need to better involve front-line staff and line managers in reporting capacity issues and required resources.

A dynamic and well-communicated method of managing bed availability.

Improved community support to improve patient release from beds (community nursing and support to free-up beds).

Communication strategy and systems to allow some process bypass for patients that were likely to need re-admitting.

The UK Treasury (UK)

Organisation – HM Treasury is the government’s economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending, setting the direction of the UK’s economic policy and working to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth.

Issue – There was a limited understanding of international airline economics.

Project – Commissioned, through IATA, to develop and deliver a course on Airline Economics for senior procurement and legal teams.

Impact – Future involvement of the Treasury was now greater informed.

The University of Sheffield (UK)

Organisation – A world top 100 university. Top five in the UK for best overall student experience and top UK Students’ Union for the ten consecutive years. A member of the Russell Group which represents the 24 leading UK universities.

Issue – Many PhD students go on to become consultants, however there was a lack of training in how to do this effectively.

Project – The Researcher Challenge: a three day programme to help PhD students, regardless of academic background, think like consultants.

Impact – High percentage of the cohort now recognise this as a viable career pathway.  In addition to this, the project outcomes have now been considered as valuable interventions for the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions).