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DHSC, Design for Life – Sustainability Grand Challenge – Building a partnership to improve diagnostics sustainability

By March 31, 2023No Comments

BIVDA and UK CPI, attended this event which was held at the BEIS conference centre in Victoria on Wednesday.

DHSC, OLS, NHS Supply Chain, NHS England, UKRI, Innovate UK, BSI, Axrem, Urology Trade Association, ABHI, NHS Wales, several academic institutions (such as University of Cambridge and University of Exeter) several medtech companies and NHS Trusts were also involved.

Design for Life is a collaborative initiative between government, industry, the health and care sector, and academia to explore and identify practical actions that address the challenges of resource security and efficiency, supply resilience, net zero and single-use plastics facing medtech in the UK. These challenges have been recently highlighted in the Government’s Medical Technology Strategy (Feb 2023), published by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The medtech sector has become heavily reliant on single-use medical devices, which exposes safe and continued patient care to significant vulnerability. Volatility in raw material and energy supply and prices, trade embargoes and tariffs, transport constraints, and sudden spikes in demand are all disruptive factors faced by this supply model.

There were a series of short talks provided by representatives from industry, government, NHS England and the National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research Programme to articulate the challenges, risks, and opportunities.

We took part in themed discussions on the fundamental aspects of medtech provision to identify the primary barriers and enablers of increased reuse, remanufacture, and materials recovery. These included.

  • Product Design

Exploring how product design can best enable efficient reuse, remanufacture, and materials recovery at end of life.

  • Clinical Efficacy and Safety

Exploring how devices that enter or emerge from circular pathways can have robust processes that ensure efficacy and safety.

  • UK Growth and Economic Opportunity

Exploring the scale of and how to optimise the UK economic opportunity presented by a shift to increased reuse, remanufacture, and materials recovery.

  • Commercial Models and Logistical Changes

Exploring how to enable commercially and logistically feasible models of supply and what good looks like.

  • Infrastructure and Workforce

Exploring the type and scale of facilities and skills that can best enable efficient reuse, remanufacture, and materials recovery.

  • Policy and Regulation

Exploring how we can create a regulatory environment, with clear and practical standards, that can best serve to enable change.

BIVDA and CPI produced a Poster, based on initial work through from the Environmental Working Party and Sustainability Steering Group and this was displayed along with other posters to stimulate discussion and exchange of ideas on the day.

We made new connections and had a lot of interest from other organisations into exploring our project in partnership.

BIVDA and CPI are working on a challenge based programme, which is a public/ private partnership to identify a pre-competitive solution to our IVD Sustainability challenge.

This will focus on Green Chemistry for reagents and surfactants and reducing the environmental footprint of plastics. We have the potential to lead this charge, if we act on the opportunity as a collective eco-system.

We need a collaboration of companies, and anchor companies who want to drive change competitively and who can contribute to supporting the programme financially in order to gain grant and match funding from other partners.

For further information, please contact Helen  or UK CPI.

Natalie Creaney