Innovate Orthopaedics challenges the way medical devices are designed, working directly with surgeons, engineers, manufacturers and academic institutions to create solutions to existing problems in surgery, with a specific focus on sports injuries. It was set up in 2014 by husband and wife team Alex Gutteridge and Hannah Longbottom and was based at the 3M BIC from 2015 to 2022.
Award-winning Innovate Orthopaedics is making its name in the medical device industry, setting out to create solutions to existing problems faced in surgery. Working with surgeons, engineers, manufacturers, and academic institutions, and embracing new technology such as additive manufacture at the 3M BIC, helped Innovate successfully launch its first product in 2016, a CE-marked interference screw for ligament surgery.
Working closely with 3M BIC’s design team and using CAD and additive manufacturing (3D printing) technology, Hannah and Alex were able to produce their first product and take it to market. The 3 BIC design team produced the iterative CAD design and visualisation of a custom surgical instrument and produced prototype variations of the surgical instrument in both polymer (nylon) and surgical stainless steel (316L).
Innovate now supplies its flagship product mainly to private hospitals in the UK, some NHS hospitals, and exports to New Zealand and Israel with plans to break into the US, South African and Australian markets.
Alex and Hannah are currently working with partner surgeons, leading academic institutions, product designers, engineers and manufacturers to develop their next product that will take the company into the exciting world of digital health.
In 2022, the company moved to the 3M BIC’s sister building, The Globe in Slaithwaite, as it takes its growth to the next level by growing the team and further expanding its product range.
The advancement in technology, such as additive manufacturing, enabled us to turn prototypes around in quick time. With this technology right on our doorstep at the 3M BIC, we were able to create, amend and reprint. It was also perfect for low volume production and benefitted from the ability to 3D print in plastic or metal, depending on our need. Having links with academic institutions has also given us access to research facilities, and ultimately be involved in publishable research.
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