Interreg North West Europe - MATMED












The project entitled ‘Advanced Materials for Regenerative Medicine and Medical Devices in contact with the human body’ involves 7 partners with GM Business Support Ltd being the coordinator. The project duration is 42 months (October 2018 – April 2022).

Project description

The North-West Europe (NWE) region has monothematic clusters focused on advanced materials, regenerative medicine or medical devices. However, many advanced material innovations with medical market potential (e.g. via 3D printing, nanotech coatings & biodegradable polymers) occurring at the crossroads of these disciplines fail to get adopted or are slow to enter the market and thus cannot offer solutions for the aging NWE population.
Barriers to the take up of these specific type of crossover innovations include:
1) SMEs and other stakeholders are poorly networked between themes and regions; 2) Incomplete availability/awareness of testing/characterisation infrastructure for scale up within and across regions; 3) Long investment-to-financial-return cycles and difficulty to raise risk capital; 4) Changing regulatory framework for Medical Devices in the EU with strong requirements on health safety testing and materials characterisation. As a result, SMEs active in these sectors are less competitive than they otherwise could be. MATMED addresses these issues across 8 regions: Greater Manchester (UK), Gelderland, Overijssel, Limburg (NL), Münster, Köln (DE), East Flanders & Flemish Brabant (BE).
MATMED will run a web-based open innovation and learning platform between regions to connect SMEs with researchers, specialised private investors and each other beyond their own regional networks. A multi-stage voucher scheme will facilitate transnational collaborations, products reaching technology validation and reaching technology demonstration phase, attracting additional funding from private investors to help innovative solutions reach the market. The sustainability of the matchmaking & pilot testing facilities and the brokerage network is ensured by sustained local support combined with member contributions.



These are the objectives of MATMED:
MATMED aims to improve the innovation performance of SMEs and other organisations in 8 regions in the areas of Advanced Materials and Regenerative Medicine/Medical Devices by creating a sustainable NWE cross-regional fully online-enabled ecosystem that will deliver multidisciplinary promising collaborations, accelerate testing, address market needs and find private investment, thus bringing innovative solutions closer to the market.
Role of Ghent University
With their knowledge/expertise in polymer synthesis, polymer processing and characterisation, UGent/PBM will be involved in supporting companies by analysing how their solutions fit the requirements of medical devices, and also offering their state-of-the-art equipment for their development. This equipment includes electrospinning, 3D printing, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), rheology, etc. Finally, UGent/PBM will offer company support through sharing of know-how and providing access to their facilities which can advance medical device development within the Interreg NWE region.




Prof. Sandra Van Vlierberghe
Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group
Centre of Macromolecular Chemistry
Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry
Phone number: +32(0)9/264.45.08