British Business Embassy summit on assistive technology heads to
birthplace of Paralympics
3 September 2012
A unique business summit hosted today by UK Trade & Investment
(UKTI) presents the UK’s excellence in assistive medical technologies to
international business leaders.
The group will spend part of the day with a team from Stoke
Mandeville Hospital and the National Spinal Injuries Centre — the
birthplace of the Paralympics.
The summit aims to showcase the UK’s innovative support through
products and services in assistive medical technologies, which
enable people to live independent lives in their own homes and
reduce the time spent in hospital and in care.
Anne Eden, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS
Trust, which runs Stoke Mandeville Hospital, said: “We are delighted
to be part of this event. It is right that Stoke Mandeville Hospital
and the National Spinal Injuries Centre has not been forgotten as
the birthplace of the Paralympics. We are proud of Professor
Guttman’s legacy in establishing our spinal injury centre and
creating the Paralympics.
“The ethos he instilled in the place still lives on and the UKTI
event is a great opportunity for us to showcase and inspire further
innovation to support those with spinal cord injury.”
The summit is part of UK Trade & Investment’s successful British
Business Embassy which forms the centrepiece of the Government's
international Olympics business legacy strategy and has already
attracted over 3,000 business leaders and global figures from across
the world during the Olympic Games.
Among those taking part in the day are: BBC journalist and
Olympic torch bearer, Stuart Hughes, who lost his leg below the knee
after stepping on a landmine while on assignment in Iraq; Barry West
who was paralysed from the chest down after a car accident and who
now campaigns tirelessly with the Back Up Trust; and Laura Turner, a
visually impaired dressage rider who works closely with Riding for
Stuart Hughes of West London and a senior world affairs producer
with BBC News said: “When I lost my leg at the age of 31 I thought
my life and my career were over. However, thanks to a British
prosthetics company, Blatchford, I have been able to work around the
world as a BBC journalist using an artificial leg, including
returning to war zones. Even when working on the front line I’ve
never felt at a disadvantage, and that’s a credit to the expertise
of the Blatchford team.”
Barry West, of Framfield, East Sussex said: "I am forever
appreciative of the amazing help and support I received from Stoke
Mandeville. The technological advances teamed with the staff's
knowledge and skill has helped me to where I am today. Not only did
they care for me through those crucial months, they also introduced
me to the Back Up Trust who have changed my life forever. These
fantastic people and the medical technology that has helped me
overcome many challenges, are a real credit to the UK."
Laura Turner, of Atherstone, Warwickshire said: "Assistive
technology has allowed me to do everything any other 27 year old can
do. I have continued as a dressage rider, worked and taken up many
hobbies. We should be proud of what this country has achieved in
medical engineering and technology — but most of all, in its
contribution to helping people like me, live life to the full."
Speakers and delegates will spend part of the day at Stoke
Mandeville and part at Lancaster House in London. While at Stoke
Mandeville, they will be invited to view a series of themed
exhibitions, a short film and a wheelchair rugby training session.
Assisted living seminar
Seminars at the core event based at Lancaster House, will focus
on advances in function and mobility, innovation for health and
wellbeing, advances in medical rehabilitation and assisted living in
The day will be hosted by Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of
the NHS In England and other speakers will include, Sir Mark Walport,
Director of the Wellcome Trust; General Sir Timothy
Granville-Chapman, Project Director of the Defence and National
Rehabilitation Centre; Professor Guang-Zhong Yang from Imperial
College, London; Dr Sandeep Shah, Tarilian Laser Technologies; and
Andy Hull from the Feelgood Factory.
Sir Bruce said: “As the Medical Director of the NHS in England,
I’m particularly pleased to be hosting today’s event to showcase the
excellent clinical work being done here in the UK to rehabilitate
people who have traumatic injuries, and how we are using cutting
edge UK innovation to improve the lives of people with chronic
diseases and disabilities as well as the frail and elderly.”
Driven by the demands of the National Health Service and a highly
skilled manufacturing base, the UK provides new solutions, technical
improvements and innovation and remains at the heart of cutting edge
developments. The demanding field of elite sport is fertile ground
for innovation in the UK, to transform performance and achieve
Among the companies taking part in the day, that have helped to
achieve these results, are Hertfordshire-based Trekinetic All
Terrain Ltd, Touch Bionics Ltd of Livingston, Scotland and McLaren
Applied Technologies of Woking, Surrey, and Tarilian Laser
Technologies of Hertfordshire.
Sport and engineering
Following the summit, The Royal Academy of Engineering, on 4
September, is hosting a series of sessions focussing on how sport
can drive engineering innovation in partnership with the UK
Government’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN), the HealthTech
and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network, the Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and UKTI.
The event will feature speakers including Kelvin Davies, BAE
Systems UK, Prof Kamiar Aminian, EPFL, Switzerland, and Dr Amit
Goffer, Argo Medical technologies, Israel. Speakers from the British
Business Embassy will also be present at this event including Stuart
Hughes and Professor Saeed Zahedi.
During the Olympic Games the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
Minister, Chancellor, Business Secretary, Foreign Secretary and over
30 other ministers have welcomed over 3,000 business leaders and
global figures to the Global Investment Conference and a series of
Global Business Summits at the British Business Embassy in London as
part of an 18-day programme.
The series of global business summits is the largest and most
ambitious set of trade and investment events ever held in this
country, and has allowed businesses and Governments to exchange
views and ideas, discuss local and international economic
challenges, develop strong global partnerships for future growth and
showcase the best of British business to the world.