Events > NHSExpo2019

NHS Expo 2019

Opportunities for MedTech businesses in the Northern Powerhouse

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We will be joined on 3rd September at Alderley Park by experts from the NHS, NICE and related fields.

Dr Victoria Betton
Founder & Director


Victoria is founder and director of mHabitat - an NHS hosted organisation which supports people-centred digital innovation in health and care, and Co>Space North - a digital health and tech for good collaboration space. She is a qualified social worker and coach with over twenty year’s experience in local government, third sector and the NHS. She has Masters degrees in Women’s Studies, Social Work and a Diploma in Public Sector Relations. Her doctoral research was on the theme of mental health and online social networks. She is a member of the HIMSS UK Advisory Board, Leeds City Region Digital Board, and a trustee for Solace, a refugee and asylum seeker charity. She is co-author of Teen Mental Health in an Online World and you can find her blog at www.codesigndigitalhealth.co.uk You can find her on Twitter @VictoriaBetton and her Pets as Therapy dog Bibi on Instagram at bibithepatdog.

Dr Anita Blakeston
Project Manager, NIHR Surgical MedTech Cooperative (MIC)
University of Leeds


Dr Anita Blakeston has a PhD in Nanoscale Physics and a Fellowship level Chartered Accountancy qualification. She is a project manager for the Surgical MIC and worked previously on large NIHR and HORIZON 2020 grants, at the University of Leeds, in projects as diverse as a European health data and antimicrobial resistance.

She also worked as Head of Business Development for the NHS, supporting the implementation of new pathways of care. Prior to this she gathered extensive experience in senior finance roles in industry and the public sector, as head of departments and leading process re-engineering projects.

Professor Robert Copeland
Director, Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University


Rob is Professor of Physical Activity and Health at Sheffield Hallam University and a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. He moved to Sheffield in 1998 to undertake a Masters Degree at Sheffield University and has fallen in love with the city ever since. Rob completed his PhD in psychology at Sheffield Hallam University in 2006 and continues to be fascinated by how to change behaviour at an individual and population level.

Rob is the Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University (AWRC). Dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through physical activity research, the AWRC provides business, industry and the public sector with access to state-of-the art facilities and world-leading academic expertise to co-design and evaluate products and services that help people move more. The AWRC is also the research hub for the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) in Sheffield, a London 2012 Olympic legacy programme, which aims to transform Sheffield into the most active city in the UK through a whole systems approach (www.movemoresheffield.com/about).

Rob has significant research, consultancy and service evaluation experience in clinical and non-clinical populations and has presented and published nationally and internationally on physical activity and behaviour change. In other areas, Rob has worked as a psychologist within a wide range of professional sports including cycling, golf, football, tennis and snooker. Rob has also worked with chief executives and senior manager's applying sports psychology techniques to a business environment to improve performance under pressure.

Dr Elaine Evans BSc PhD MBA DipM
Life Sciences Specialist
Department for International Trade

As Life Sciences Specialist in DIT’s Northern Powerhouse Investment Hub, Elaine’s role is to advise overseas companies on the world-leading science and innovation capabilities in the North of England and the business ecosystems they reside within.

Previously, Elaine led a team at the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, managing funding schemes for life sciences companies. She spent over 25 years working in pharma and medtech companies in various commercial roles, including founding a company focussed on in-licensing Medical Foods and Medical Devices.

Until 2018 Elaine was Chair of the UK Pharmaceutical Licensing Group, an industry association. Elaine has a PhD in pharmacology and was a post-doctoral researcher in molecular biology in the USA (NIH and Stanford University).

Elaine has an MBA and a CIM Diploma in Marketing.

Philippa Hedley-Takhar
Business Development Manager
NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative


Philippa joined the team at Devices for Dignity in January 2019 to develop strategic relationships with national partners to support Devices for Dignity’s programme portfolio and catalyse opportunities across Devices for Dignity’s clinical and cross-cutting themes. Prior to joining the team, Philippa was Programme Manager in the Perfect Patient Pathway NHS England Wave 1 Test Bed programme co-ordinating multi-stakeholder partnerships to implement, test and evaluate novel combinations of technology and service re-design supporting the care home community and NHS services at system-level; and develop training and resources for health professionals to support people with long-term conditions to use technology for self-management.

With over 15 years’ experience in economic development, inward investment and strategic innovation in the advanced manufacturing, digital, and health technologies sectors, and an MSc in Urban Regeneration, Philippa was previously Head of Investment & Partnerships at Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), working in the Commercial Team to establish the Yorkshire & Humber Digital Health & Wellbeing Ecosystem (a partnership with the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance); and develop relationships with national funding bodies, the SME community and healthcare innovation networks.

Dr Grace Jennings
Senior Scientific Adviser
NICE Scientific Advice


Grace joined NICE Scientific Advice as a Technical Adviser in April 2014, after working as a Technical Analyst in NICE Technology Appraisals.

She is the head of the educational programme in Scientific Advice, and has been a key developer of the award-winning META (Medtech Early Technical Assessment) tool and leads on the training programme.

Grace graduated in Biomedical Sciences (King’s College, London and Berkeley, University of California) before undertaking post-graduate studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She obtained an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases, before completing a PhD entitled ‘A policy analysis of biological warfare defence and emerging infectious diseases in an international context'. She lectures and coordinates outbreak scenario exercises each year as a Visiting Fellow at LSHTM.

Dr Linda Magee BSc (Hons), PhD
NHS Sector Specialist
Department for International Trade


Linda Magee is the NHS Sector Specialist for the Life Sciences Organisation (LSO) in the UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT). Her role is focused on supporting UK investment leveraging the NHS marketplace, its expertise and associated infrastructure alongside the wider life sciences and healthcare ecosystem.

Previously, she was Business Director across the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) & the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GMAHSN), now combined within Health Innovation Manchester, having been a founding Director of both organisations.

Earlier, Linda established Bionow®, the biomedical cluster organisation and was co-founder of Manchester Biotech Ltd, the UK’s first dedicated biotechnology incubator company. She also established the National Biomanufacturing Centre at Speke. Following a PhD in Medical Biochemistry, Linda worked for a US healthcare company in technical and marketing positions.

Linda was awarded an OBE in the 2009 for services to biotechnology.

Dr Christopher McKee
NIHR Industrial Partnerships Officer
University of Leeds


Dr Christopher McKee is NIHR Industrial Partnerships Officer at the University of Leeds. Chris has a background in both academia and the private sector having attained a PhD in Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University specialising in novel skin cancer therapy research (2010-2013), a short term contract at AstraZeneca (2014) and several years working for the Private Sector Pharmaceutical CRO Early Stage Development (Covance), and Phase I – Phase III Clinical Research (2015-2019). Chris joined the University of Leeds May 2019 working for the faculty of Medicine and Health working with industry partners (SME – Large Corporations) to facilitate their research and needs across the Faculty as well as the NIHR infrastructures hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The purpose of Chris’ role is to align Industrial Partners with NIHR Medtech and In Vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MIC) needs along with University Research interests for patient benefit and the ‘health and wealth’ goal of the NHS. Chris is a keen Hiker and enjoys a bit of kayaking and climbing also.

Abigail Needham
Business Development and Project Manager
NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative


Abigail Needham is the Business Development and Project Manager working across NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operatives, NIHR Children and Young Peoples’ MedTech Co-operative and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Abigail is a trained Physiotherapist and prior to joining Devices for Dignity was working in the pharmaceutical industry. She has over 12 years’ experience working as a Sales Representative and Account Manager working in numerous areas including Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Respiratory – Asthma and COPD and Vaccines.

Kathy Scott
Deputy Chief Executive
Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network


Kathy is Deputy Chief Executive at Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network, supporting the spread of innovation into the NHS.

Prior to this, she was Head of Innovation and Research in NHS England. Before joining the NHS Kathy was a career civil servant working in several Government Departments.

Her varied career has included supporting the unemployed in to work, measuring the levels of fraud in the benefit system, developing welfare and health policy, researching and implementing strategic solutions to complex issues, assuring health arm’s length bodies provide value for money and reviewing management of IP in the health sector.

Armando Vargas-Palacios
Senior Research Fellow
Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds University School of Medicine


Armando Varas-Palacios is a Senior Research Fellow at the Academic Unit of Health Economics and part of the Test Evaluation Group at the Unit of Health Economics with focus on the evaluation of Medical devices as a health economist of the MedTech Co-operative Leeds (MIC).

He co-leads the Decision Modelling Group in the Unit, which discusses and explores different economic evaluation modelling techniques.

Armando has a PhD from the University of Sheffield for which he employed different dynamic modelling techniques and calibration methods to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the H1N1 flu Vaccine in Mexico.

He previously worked at the Economic Analysis Unit at the Ministry of Health Mexico where he participated in the development of several public policy strategies related to the improvement of access and provision of healthcare in Mexico. He has a Master’s degree in Health Economics from the Centre for Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico and a BA in Economics from the Ibero-American University(UIA)

Elaine Wilson
Head of Sales
Alderley Park


Elaine is a Chartered Engineer who has proactively and successfully diversified her career from Engineering into non-Engineering roles in pharma and life science industry.

Elaine's current role focuses on business development for the UK's largest single site bioscience campus - Alderley Park. A development by Bruntwood SciTech, the Park offers 1m sq ft of ready-to-go chemistry and biology labs. With dedicated business support and a range of shared scientific services, Alderley Park offers exceptional bioscience facilities for R&D focussed life science companies at every stage of their life-cycle, from start-up to global corporate. It's the ideal place to support pioneering innovation.