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Martin Hunt steps down as NIHR Medtech Industry Engagement Advisor


Published: 01 November 2022

Version: 1.0

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After 13 years with the NIHR, Martin Hunt is stepping down from his role as MedTech Industry Engagement Advisor and from the NIHR Strategy Board.

Martin Hunt joined the NIHR in late 2009 as the Programme Director of the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme, a translational funding scheme that supports medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies. Over the years, Martin has transformed i4i into the highly successful programme it is today, leading it through a number of iterations.

One of the milestones was the launch of an SME-focused funding stream, i4i Connect. With more than 30 years of experience in the life science industry, Martin has always been an advocate for SMEs within the health research system, highlighting barriers for effective engagement and support for funding.

Under his leadership, the number of SMEs funded through the i4i programme significantly increased, de-risking early-stage technologies and making them attractive for private investors. Creo Medical Ltd and QuantuMDx, for example, both successfully raised considerable funds following the development of their products with an i4i award. During Martin’s tenure, the programme also significantly extended the range of innovations it supports, from technologies in the early stages of translational development to innovations requiring evaluations in real world settings.

In 2021, Martin became the first NIHR MedTech Industry Engagement Adviser, leading on the NIHR’s strategy to develop more effective ways of working with SMEs. For example, the 11 SME Roadshows in 2017-19 across the whole country, from Newcastle to Plymouth and Bristol to Cambridge, where in excess of 350 SMEs were engaged. This was undoubtedly a contributor to a significant increase in the number of SMEs applying to the i4i programme.