Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems Europe Ltd (TMVS) in Edinburgh is a key part of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation’s global R&D network and is responsible for the design and development of cutting edge products and technology for use in medical imaging equipment.
The Business Challenge
Keen to tap into the expertise available within academia, TMVS became aware of Interface at an event and arranged further meetings with Ian Poole, Senior Scientist at TMVS to discuss the company’s research and development requirements.
A specification was agreed and Interface undertook an expertise search for potential academic collaborators.
Ian Poole commented, “Interface offers companies access to a diverse network of world class expertise and plays a vital role in facilitating the partnerships.”
Interface identified the knowledge and facilities required within the SINAPSE POOL.
SINAPSE, the Scottish imaging network, is at the forefront of research in the field of brain imaging and brings together six of Scotland’s top universities - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling.
TMVSE recognised the opportunity to capitalise on the extensive expertise within SINAPSE and was keen work with the group.
Interface worked with SINAPSE and TMVS to develop a successful Staff Exchange Programme with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Aberdeen.
Both parties have experienced significant benefits from this collaboration. The programme is a true example of successful knowledge exchange between academia which involves TMVS employees spending time in a clinical environment and SINAPSE researchers and students spending time at the company premises embedded in an industrial environment.
TMVS were able to explore with researchers the different technologies, techniques and approaches which can be used to develop images that may result in new or improved clinical diagnosis. The programme also provides university researchers with the opportunity to see how their research can be transformed into marketable products within an industry environment, building awareness of the tough requirements involved with commercial software. In addition the programme acts as a catalyst for innovation within TMVS in providing an environment which is conducive to exploring new ideas.
Two Engineering Students at the University of Edinburgh also undertook placement at TMVS.
The initial partnership between SINAPSE and Toshiba continues to flourish and has led to discussions regarding a larger collaboration which will build on the current project. The company has also announced its decision to launch a major new R&D programme in healthcare imaging informatics at its Edinburgh facility.
Ken Sutherland, Director of R&D at Toshiba’s Edinburgh facility commented, “Its great that we can tap into some of the first class academic research going on here in Scotland and at the same time play a useful role by sifting and highlighting those aspects of research that look most promising in terms of commercially viable innovation”.
Dr. Siobhán Jordan, Director at Interface commented, “The Staff Exchange Programme further demonstrates the importance and potential benefits of business and academia working in partnership. I am sure the recent news announced by Toshiba will present future potential collaborative opportunities between the two networks.”