Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are increasingly operating on a global scale – building strategic partnerships with international bodies to support inward investment and export growth opportunities.
The AHSN Network has supported the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) and its US Accelerator Programme and Innovation Hub in Texas. This was set up to increase UK industry market access into the United States. The project has created demand for UK products by brokering connections between companies and US customers and helping introduce growth partners to assist with procurement throughout Texas and beyond.
Representatives of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN have joined these UK-Texas trade missions on behalf of the AHSN Network and to support companies from across the UK. One company that has benefitted from this support is Mediplus, which now has a substantial US order book for its S-Cath and Capnomask products. It has signed contracts with distributors that will generate more than $1m revenue over the next five years. The company currently has customers in more than 30 states.
James Urie, Sales and Marketing Director at Mediplus, attributes the support of the AHSN Network, and Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, during the trade missions as a key component of the company’s success.
He said: “Having a senior member of the AHSN team sitting alongside you and taking an active role during meetings helps build credibility as the organisation’s links to the NHS are valued in the US.
“The AHSN can help put the healthcare perspective across thanks to its work with the NHS and this understanding provides a different context when we are involved in discussions with clinicians and decision makers across the American health system.”
Mediplus was one of the first companies to take part in the ABHI Texas trade missions having helped set up the initial scoping visit. Since then the company has taken part in a further three visits.
James explains: “We just couldn’t get traction in the US so I spoke to ABHI to see what support they could provide, and this led to the Texas trade missions.
“The fact that the AHSN then got involved really took the visits to the next level as we were able to get access to organisations and individuals that we could not have done otherwise.
“I would recommend 100 per cent working with AHSNs. The AHSN team doesn’t sell your product for you but they can help you get access into markets and their support ensures we are able to have one to one conversations with the right people.
“We have now been selling our products in the US for a while now and we have a substantial order book. Our business is achieving double digit growth pretty much every month.”
Having a senior member of the AHSN team sitting alongside you and taking an active role during meetings helps build credibility as the organisation’s links to the NHS are valued in the US. The AHSN can help put the healthcare perspective across thanks to its work with the NHS and this understanding provides a different context when we are involved in discussions with clinicians and decision makers across the American health system.