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SETsquared innovators lead the way towards a more sustainable NHS

SETsquared innovators lead the way towards a more sustainable NHS

SETsquared-supported companies, LabCycle, Walk with Path and Revolution-ZERO, are set to deliver transformative solutions to improve patient care and a greener NHS thanks to funding from SBRI healthcare.

SBRI Healthcare, in partnership with the Greener NHS programme and Health Innovation Network, has awarded a combined £3.2m to 22 innovations that aim to improve patient care, reduce NHS outgoings, and make the UK’s healthcare system more sustainable.

In 2020, the NHS became the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero. The Delivering a Net Zero NHS report and subsequent Health and Care Act introduced targeted legislation into the healthcare provider, marking a turning point in NHS history. It also set the wheels in motion for a greener public healthcare system, calling upon innovators to bid for funding.

Of the 22 businesses to have received funding through the Delivering a Net Zero NHS for a Healthier Future, and Delivering a Net Zero NHS Clinical Innovation competitions, three are SETsquared members.

Walk with Path

Former Scale-Up programme member, Walk with Path, has been awarded £499,750 to continue the development of its sensor-rich wearable and telemedicine platform.

The device, Path Feel, is a smart insole which monitors foot temperature and pressure to predict and prevent diabetic foot ulcers. Not only does it track metrics from each stride, but its accompanying web-based dashboard allows patients to wirelessly monitor their foot health, reducing the number of hospital trips required for in-person clinic visits.

The funding, which has been awarded as part of SBRI’s Competition 22, Phase 2, will be used to evaluate the effect that the roll-out of the technology would have on the NHS’ carbon footprint.

Lise Pape, Founder, Walk with Path said, “We are super excited to be able to continue the work we started during the SBRI phase 1 project. During phase 2, we get the opportunity to work with NHS trusts across the country, from Scotland to the Isle of Wight, to analyse the carbon footprints, and how we can impact ulcer care across the UK, at the same time as helping the NHS achieve net zero goals.”


Revolution-ZERO, a partnership between the University of Southampton and the University College of London, has been awarded £500k from the Phase 2 competition to develop a full technology suite to enable low-carbon and lower-cost healthcare textile processing. The former Scale-Up programme member is developing novel chemistry processes and protocols that allow for lower-temperature washing whilst improving medical textiles.

Revolution-ZERO is achieving this by developing innovative chemistry and protocols for wash processes, enabling lower temperatures and more efficient cleaning of medical textiles. It is also developing new cleaning and disinfection validation technologies utilising advanced microbiological analysis and a new in-wash marker system paired with machine vision (AI) techniques.

This new suite has the potential to save more than 190,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and £90m in costs each year.


The NHS creates 133,000 tonnes of plastic annually with only 5% of it being recycled. SETsquared Bath member, LabCycle, has been awarded £99,992 to deliver a pioneering new circular economy model for research and healthcare providers.

Revolutionising the way that the NHS handles plastic waste, this pilot project will decontaminate single-use plastic consumables, before recycling them into pellets for use in the manufacturing of new medical-grade products.

It hopes that the successful delivery of this pilot will close the loop on waste and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of healthcare delivery in the UK.

Helen Liang, CTO and Co-Founder, LabCycle, commented, “We are thrilled to receive the funding from SBRI Healthcare. This funding will enable us to pioneer a circular economy model for research and healthcare systems, focusing on the decontamination and recycling of single-use plastics from the NHS. By transforming waste, we aim to make a significant impact on sustainability in healthcare. We are excited about the potential of this project to drive meaningful change and contribute to a greener future.”

Airway Medical

It is estimated that over one million people in the UK struggle to clear their due to the effects of strokes, neurological or respiratory conditions. At present, there is an unmet need for a device which can help alleviate these symptoms, particularly in locations where there is inadequate infrastructure or access to electricity/battery-powered devices. Airway Medical has been awarded £99,967 to develop its Compact Airway Medical Suction Unit (CAMSU™) – a device which offers the ability to clear airways of excess saliva and sputum using mechanical suction – meaning that it can be used by anyone, anywhere.

Made from renewable sourced bio-polymers, this low-cost, sustainable solution has the power to completely replace existing electrified equipment that contributes to the health service’s carbon footprint.

Simon Hall, Founder and CEO, Airway Medical, said, “Airway Medical is proud to have its unique and compelling approach to becoming the world’s only Sustainable Medical Device Company supported by SBRI Healthcare. The funding will help develop the world’s only completely sustainable Medical Device; CAMSU™, providing a net zero solution for four-billion people worldwide.”


Speaking on the funded projects, Verena Stocker, Interim Director of Research, Life Sciences and Strategy, NHS England and Chief Executive Officer, Accelerated Access Collaborative, said, “The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society.”

“We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to patients while also helping to achieve a net zero NHS. By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients’ needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”

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