Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility




Developing healthcare technology to disrupt care pathways, reduce treatment costs and respond to emerging threats is of paramount importance. Consequently, we need an environment that blends physical science capability with clinical perspectives at the earliest juncture.

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About HTAF

Key Facilities and Capabilities



About HTAF

The Healthcare Technology Accelerator Facility (HTAF) is a non-profit initiative that will provide a unique base for the development of healthcare technology (HT), in acting as a UK ‘point-of-contact’ and expertise hub for all HT developmental stages.

Too often, technology development occurs remotely from the clinical interface. As a result, its true potential is lost through issues such as lack of follow-on funding, poorly designed studies, limited appreciation of the health economics and user requirements, and poor industrial engagement. The fragmentation of team skills and knowledge leads to isolated development that is unlikely to succeed.

By integrating physical and biomedical scientists and clinicians into the same environment, traditional barriers are removed, opportunities are created, and innovation is catalysed. The result will be the expediting of impact, from inception, to translation and commercialisation.

Key Facilities and Capabilities

Internationally, few facilities exist in which all elements of medical technology development – from training to the first into-human and commercial trials – are carried out in a single location.

Delivering this game-changing vision requires an integrated translational platform that builds upon our existing expertise in biomedical and physical sciences, whilst providing the infrastructure necessary to support a seamless development pathway for innovative technology, experimental medicine and training.

The key facilities that are being housed in the QMRI-Chancellors and adjacent Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh include:

  1. Laboratories for the physical sciences with associated biological validation facilities.
  2. Laboratories and ‘clean rooms’ for instrumentation development, medical device validation and prototype ‘build’ facilities.
  3. GLP/GMP facility to synthesise and validate chemical entities and bespoke sensing biomaterials.
  4. A Clinical Research Facility accredited under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Phase I scheme. This Research Facility has a Quality Assurance system to ensure all studies are conducted in line with current governance and regulatory requirements.

The key capabilities that we will be bringing on board include:

  1. Oversight of professional technology consultancy, PA Consulting.
  2. A clinical expert faculty from all specialties in the NHS.
  3. Experienced clinical project managers.
  4. Embedded quality management systems for ‘in-human’ technology development.
  5. Trial design, methodology, statistics and health economic expertise.
  6. A direct portal for industry access and collaboration.
  7. Business development, commercialisation and legal support.
  8. Production engineers, chemists and software engineers with an ethos and experience of translation.


By bringing together stakeholders from the beginning of technology development, HTAF will foster a culture of transformative healthcare innovation and accelerate commercial development and real-world evaluation of novel technologies. Nurturing the growth of novel healthcare technology to be ready for further investment and impact is the major driver for HTAF.

Commercial outputs will be realised through the collaborative efforts of five technology transfer offices. By working and learning together, they will create a HT footprint in the UK that will be prepared for follow-on funding, industry and venture. The drive to commercialisation will be realised from a ‘bottom up’ approach, with HTAF coordinating technologists and clinicians to interact directly with industry and the investment community.


The HTAF is a multi-stakeholder, multi-institution partnership building upon unifying translational clinical ‘pull’ and physical sciences ‘push’.

Key stakeholders include:

  • EPSRC Proteus IRC
  • University of Edinburgh Medical School and Veterinary Medical School (Clinical Faculty)
  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • University of Edinburgh College of Science & Engineering
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Strathclyde Technology Innovation Centre
  • University of Bath
  • University of Durham
  • The Academic and Clinical Central Office for Research and Development (ACCORD; University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian)
  • NHS Medical Physics
  • NHS R&D Research Nurses
  • Edinburgh Innovation
  • Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences
  • Invited industrial partners

HTAF projects will be supported by the California Life Sciences Institute.

Logo for the California Life Sciences Institute

The California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) supports the foundations of innovation that have made California home to the world’s most prominent life sciences ecosystem.  Our mission is to maintain California’s leadership in life sciences innovation through support of entrepreneurship, education and career development.  CLSI also serves as an accelerator for CARB-X, the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted to early stage antibacterial R&D.  The California Life Sciences Institute is a non-profit and was established in 1990 as the BayBio Institute.

If you would like to get in touch with us with any queries related to HTAF, please see our contact form.