Interested in medical technologies, education or innovation within Cambridge University Hospitals? Do your patients have unmet needs or face problems that you’d like to help solve? We are currently recruiting clinicians with real clinical problems to work on our upcoming medtech education programme. If you think you have a suitable problem and would like to be involved, please contact


The MedTech Foundation (MTF) is a student and trainee affiliation of the NIHR Surgical MedTech Cooperative, based at the University of Leeds. We aim to enthuse and engage students and trainees in interdisciplinary research and innovation in the medical technology space. The MTF currently has spokes within the Universities of Leeds, Warwick, Birmingham and Cambridge. Our work centres on an annual educational course known as the Innovation Programme. For the 2019/20 programme, the Cambridge spoke are proud to be partnering with the NIHR Brain Injury MIC, CUH Clinical Engineering Innovation and the Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre.


The Innovation Programme is a ‘table-top’ exercise, in which small teams of students compete to design a technological solution to real, unmet clinical needs of NHS patients. These clinical needs are prepared and presented by clinicians who face these problems in their own practise. We support the students with workshops and lectures covering basic topics relevant to medical technology design. Teams produce a report detailing their device and pitch it to a panel of external judges, who select and overall winner.

The Programme aims to introduce students to the basic principles of designing, developing and marketing medical technologies and to promote collaboration between students from different subjects

The Programme is open to all students currently studying at the University of Cambridge, regardless of subject or stage. Following a competitive application process in mid October, 30-35 students are enrolled for a period of ten weeks. On enrolment, students specify the problems they are interested in working on, so as to maximise the diversity of our cohort Previous participants have studied medicine, engineering, physics, biology, maths and courses within the Judge Business School.

We are recruiting CUH clinicians to provide the clinical needs for this year’s Innovation Programme.


Involvement in the Innovation Programme is a unique opportunity to build a track record of commitment to medical technologies and innovation. During the programme, you will:

  • Engage with like-minded, motivated students, clinicians and colleagues
  • Gain new insights and perspective on your clinical problem
  • Certification of involvement with the Innovation Programme, which would fit within the teaching and education sections of portfolios

Please note that Innovation Programme is an educational exercise designed to develop and inspire young innovators. The programme is judged on an educational report/presentation and not a product. Therefore, the scope of this programme is not to create a commercially viable product for immediate clinical or entrepreneurial purpose. You should not participate in the programme hoping to produce a working solution to your problem or to found a commercial company.

We do realise that some students may wish to develop their ideas further following the programme. While we do not offer direct support for such activities, we are proud of our students initiatives and are keen to make sure we do not stifle them. As such, we require everyone involved in the Innovation Programme (students, clinician, committee) to sign a non-disclosure agreement, in order to give students the freedom to independently develop their ideas if they so wish.


The criteria which make a unmet need/clinical problem suitable for the Innovation Programme are simple:

  • The problem must be a real challenge that you face in your clinical practice, with no current solution.
  • Problems can come from any fields– we are happy to work individuals working in surgery, medicine, nursing, imaging, clinical sciences etc.
  • The problem should be accessible to those without an extensive medical background (the teams working on the problem will all include both medical and non-medical students).
  • There should be multiple ways of approaching the problem, or different aspects that teams could chose to focus on (e.g. diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, rehabilitation etc)

Problems from previous innovation programmes have included: anastomotic leak following bowel surgery, restenosis of grafts following vascular bypass and redesigning surgical instruments. They can be found here.


We are looking for ambitious, motivated clinicians who will inspire our students and engage with them throughout the programme. Specifically, we are looking for a commitment to a total of three sessions:

  • One session in October (provisional date October 22nd, 6 – 8 pm), which will include a short presentation in which you explain clinical problem, followed by a question and answer session with the students
  • One drop-in session (maximum duration two hours) in the first week of November, during which students will bring questions that have emerged as they begin work on their projects
  • One drop-in session in the last week of November/first of December (subject to your availability, maximum duration two hours), in which students will have the chance to dicuss any final questions before the winter break

Students will be instructed not to contact you outside of these times, in order to ensure that all teams have equal access to clinician input.


We welcome involvement from clinicians at all stages of training, from all specialties. The only requirements are that your clinical problem matches the description above and that you (or a junior) can commit to the three sessions.

If you are interested, please send us an email at to detailing:

1. Your name

2. Your department

3. Your training grade

4. A summary of your clinical problem (no more than 250 words)