Spin-out company wins International Business Award

03 Dec 2009 12:55:00.000

PA 312/09

A University of Nottingham spin-out company has won a prestigious award for international trade.

Monica Healthcare Ltd won the 'New Exporter' Award at the East Midlands International Business Awards 2009, after outstanding export success with its new healthcare technology.

The East Midlands International Business Awards recognise the best businesses across the region who are trading internationally and making a real impact on overseas markets. The awards are hosted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which brings together the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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Spun out from the University in 2005, Monica has developed miniature wireless technology which can monitor the well-being of a mother and her unborn baby. Monica's AN24 wireless fetal-maternal monitoring device is the culmination of 15 years of research in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Nottingham.

The non-invasive technology allows monitoring of the fetus and mother for extended periods of time while allowing the mother to move around as normal. Existing techniques such as Ultrasound are not very effective in uninterrupted monitoring over longer periods of time and restrict mothers"€™ movement.

Based in Nottingham"€™s Biocity, Monica Healthcare Ltd has taken its pioneering product to a global marketplace and has seen tremendous results. Having launched its product in 2008/09, export sales have accounted for 95 per cent of turnover "€” with early success in Europe, the Gulf and Australasia following successful regulatory approval.

The University of Nottingham retains a substantial stake in Monica Healthcare, including representation on the board and the continued involvement of Dr Barrie Hayes-Gill, Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and one of the original inventors.

Dr Hayes-Gill and Dr Carl Barratt, Chief Executive of Monica Healthcare Ltd, were on hand at the ceremony to collect their award from guest speaker and former rugby star Matt Dawson.

Dr Hayes-Gill said: "€œWe are very proud of receiving this award, recognising Monica Healthcare Ltd as an international player in the export of medical devices, and further reinforces the global reputation of The University of Nottingham in knowledge transfer of world renowned research into the international commercial arena."€

Dr Bruce Venning, The University of Nottingham Director on the Board, said: "€œThis award recognises Monica's significant achievements in accelerating its overseas sales ambitions."€

Peter Hogarth, International Trade Director UKTI East Midlands said: "€œThe Awards evening was a huge success. It was a real opportunity to celebrate all the successes of companies that strive to ride the downturn and remain resilient.

"€œThe last 12 months have presented even more challenges for business than usual. Growth overseas has been the answer for many of them and it has been even more critical that UK companies recognise the opportunities and importance of competing in the global economy.

"€œThis evening is testament to the ability of East Midlands companies who embrace the challenge of competing internationally, of remaining resilient in tough and demanding trading conditions, and of achieving growth and long term sustainability. Our finalists tonight exemplify that spirit and are great ambassadors for the region"€™s industry, innovation and expertise."€

Award sponsors included British Airways, HSBC, East Midlands China Business Bureau, East Midlands India Business Bureau and Crayfish Design.

More information on Monica Healthcare is available at: www.monicahealthcare.com

- Ends -

Picture caption: the picture above shows (l-r) Ian Wilson, Deputy International Trade Director for UKTI; Graham Cartledge, Chairman of Benoy; Dr Carl Barratt, Chief Executive of Monica Healthcare Ltd; Dr Barrie Hayes-Gill, Research Director of Monica and Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; and Matt Dawson, former England rugby player.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as "€˜world-leading"€™ or "€˜internationally excellent"€™. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "€œonly truly global university"€, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation "€“ School of Pharmacy), and was named "€˜Entrepreneurial University of the Year"€™ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Barrie Hayes-Gill , Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9515547, Barrie.hayes-gill@nottingham.ac.uk

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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