Ayrshire’s RUA Medical joins forces with Irish institute to help boost its growth
Ayrshire-based RUA Medical has become the first company to complete a project under the cross-border Co-Innovate programme after being paired with a Republic of Ireland academic institute – enabling the company to develop new product offerings and target additional export markets.
RUA Medical custom-manufactures medical devices and specialises in implantable fabrics that are specifically designed for surgical implantation – their most recent development being a device that replaces diseased blood vessels for prevention of heart attacks and strokes. RUA has premises in Irvine and Prestwick, with four clean room suites and 25 skilled employees. The company was the first to initiate a business-to-academia funded project via the Co-Innovate programme, with its work to develop polymer coating processes and technologies for its surgically implantable fabrics.
Co-Innovate is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), and aims to increase the number of businesses participating in cross-border, transnational or inter-regional research projects. It operates in Northern Ireland, the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland, and areas of Western Scotland – with Scottish Enterprise responsible for overseeing projects in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.
With guidance and support from Scottish Enterprise, RUA Medical embarked on a 12-month collaboration with the Institute of Technology Sligo, giving the company access to testing facilities and world-class technological expertise. The Co-Innovate programme also part-funded the recruitment of an R&D Project Manager, who has since taken a permanent role with RUA Medical.
The project was completed on schedule, and the first devices made via the new fabric coating operation – using RUA’s trademark Elast-EonTM polymer technology – are currently undergoing regulatory testing, with commercial launch anticipated after FDA approval is achieved in mid-2021.
RUA Medical CEO, Dr Caroline Stretton, said: “Thanks to Co-Innovate support via Scottish Enterprise, together we’ve been able to accelerate an important innovation project and expand our business offering, enabling us to attract a wider range of customers and reach new export markets. It also helped us focus on the right activities to secure the company’s future growth. Due to the bespoke nature of establishing this new fabric coating activity and introducing new expertise into the company, we felt this could only be achieved through tailored collaboration with an academic expert who also understood the medical device environment - and this became possible through this programme.”
Stacey Neville, Innovation Specialist at Scottish Enterprise, added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Caroline and the RUA Medical team throughout this project, and to see the resulting successes. This project has helped reinforce RUA Medical as a specialist full-service textile provider from design through to final product supply, and we’re excited to follow the next steps in their growth journey.”
Co-Innovate’s priority sectors include manufacturing, renewables, life and health sciences, agri-food and tech and ICT. The Co-Innovate partnership is led by InterTradeIreland and includes Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Enterprise Northern Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices in the border counties of Ireland, and East Border Region Ltd.
To find out more visit www.co-innovateprogramme.eu/b2b
Notes to editors
RUA1 - RUA Medical’s business is all about personalised service, combined with innovative design and development. RUA Medical works alongside medical device clients, R&D teams and product managers who are looking for technologically advanced new products and/or performance improvements to existing product lines.
RUA2 - RUA Medical designs medical devices specifically to clients’ requirements by combining product innovation with cost effective cleanroom manufacturing and packaging solutions.
Notes to Editors:
RUA Medical is a full-service medical device contract manufacturer with specialist expertise in implantable fabrics, and provides design, development, manufacture, assembly, packing, inventory management, logistics and consultancy services to the medical device and biotech industries. The business has premises in Irvine and Prestwick, with four ISO Class 7 cleanroom suites and 25 skilled employees.
RUA Medical is part of the RUA Life Sciences group, which was created in April 2020 when AorTech International plc acquired RUA Medical Devices Ltd to create a fully formed medical device business to exploit the group’s Elast-Eon polymer technology.
As an ISO 13485:2016 certified and FDA-registered manufacturer, RUA Medical offers customers a high quality, bespoke experience, and have partnered with world-leading medical device and biotech companies to provide technologically innovative products that can deliver lifesaving and life enhancing solutions. For more information visit www.ruamedical.com
About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's national economic development agency. We’re committed to growing the Scottish economy for the benefit of all, helping create more quality jobs and a brighter future for every region.
Follow us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/scottish-enterprise/
The Co-Innovate Programme is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), and was awarded up to €14,702,502.14 European Regional Development Funding in order to support over 1,400 SMEs and micro-businesses in Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland, and Western Scotland.
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
About INTERREG VA
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland.
It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
The INTERREG VA Programme has a value of €283 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.