Occuity is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £1.4m as part of the Future Leaders Fellowship programme, which is run by the government-funded body, UK Research and Innovation.
The scheme aims to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business. Following a highly competitive application process, Dr. Alistair Bounds, named among the UK's most promising science and research leaders, secured the prestigious
fellowship. He will be engaging in a four-year project that is geared towards healthcare technologies of the future and how the healthcare market is expected to evolve.
The project, to be undertaken at Occuity, will look at ocular imaging for chronic and systemic disease assessment, with the aim being to build two prototype retinal imaging systems that will allow the detection of signature markers of chronic and systemic disease.
The two systems will open up a new area for Occuity in targeting retinal imaging in a way that is highly complementary to the company’s existing programme of innovative research.
Led by Alistair, the project will commence on the 1st of August 2022 and will fund the support of 3.5 full-time employees over the course of the project, with recruitment set to start with a Retinal Imaging Scientist. The team will also collaborate with Edinburgh and Durham Universities, and Sunderland Eye Hospital will offer support and new knowledge to this cutting-edge project.
If the project progresses as expected, there is potential for it to extend by a further three years with additional UKRI funding.
Commenting on the partnership Alistair said: "I’ve been really impressed by Occuity and the rapid progress that the company has made, both in terms of developing disruptive technologies and in terms of building a company, for instance, the speed at which Occuity has put in place quality management systems, which is harder to get a sense of when working in academia. I chose Occuity for this fellowship as it seems like a great place to develop, learning from a highly experienced but friendly and welcoming team where I can move from academia into industry and get a sense of the different components that it takes to make a successful medical engineering company, and where I think there is a fantastic amount of drive to make technologies that will help people."
CEO and Co-founder Dr Dan Daly also commented: “It's very exciting to be part of this prestigious scheme and we’re delighted to have such a talented mind on board to lead the project. The work Alistair will be doing alongside his team will impact immensely Occuity's research and development
efforts, helping us continue to grow and influence the development of our future products. We’re very much looking forward to seeing this project get underway and increasing our knowledge of how the eye can be used as a window on the health of the body in our efforts to improve the screening
and monitoring of some of humanities greatest healthcare challenges.”
Of the Future Leaders Fellowship program, UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with the freedom and generous long-term support to progress adventurous new ideas, and to move across disciplinary boundaries and between academia and industry. The fellows announced today provide shining examples of the talented researchers and innovators
across every discipline attracted to pursue their ideas in universities and businesses throughout the UK, with the potential to deliver transformative research that can be felt across society and the economy.”