- Department for International Trade
- Part of:
- Business investment in the UK: Guidance for overseas businesses, Exports and inward investment, and Bulgaria
- 15 May 2015
Advice and guidance from UK government has helped Bulgarian company ProsFit to bring its innovative prosthetic socket technology solution to the UK.
This company was assisted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which has since moved to the Department for International Trade (DIT).
ProsFit uses a combination of scanning and new manufacturing techniques to transform the way in which amputees are fitted for prosthetic legs. The new technology allows ProsFit to go from scan to a comfortable socket in 48 hours.
Finding the right fit
Alan Hutchison, Director at ProsFit UK, had previously been on the board of the British-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and knew about UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). In August 2014 he asked for help with making the move to the UK.
The company chose Manchester, as a vibrant city and central location. UKTI provided detailed information about the UK’s strict medical regulatory requirements. It also facilitated introductions for ProsFit, including:
- the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulations Authority (MHRA)
- the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
- Manchester’s inward investment agency, MIDAS
- TrusTECH, which supports innovation within the NHS
- the University of Manchester
The company is working with these institutes to develop the technology further and to help it to gain acceptance within the NHS and other regulatory bodies.
Manchester is also home to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the government body which provides advice and guidance for the improvement of healthcare. NICE approval is well-respected and valid across the European Union (EU) and beyond.
UKTI’s support has made the process of setting up a UK subsidiary very smooth and quick – we approached them in August 2014 and by January 2015 we were already registered as a company and had started clinical investigation in the UK.
Manchester is a great place for us, because it’s a technology hub and it welcomes innovation. The universities we’re working with are respected internationally and this is very important for us as we build a solid reputation. We’re making great progress in preparing ProsFit’s product for market launch in the UK and internationally.
Onwards and upwards
ProsFit plans to find an office in the North West, from where it will collaborate with its partners to develop its solutions further. It plans to increase its staff members by 20 in the next 3 years and as a result expects 15% of its turnover to come from UK business alone. Thanks to the UK office’s ongoing contribution to research and development, ProsFit projects rapid growth and an expansion into new markets soon after the UK.
Since coming to the UK we’ve worked with very effective people at UKTI, and their engagement and contribution has been very valuable.
An introduction by UKTI is like a gold card - it means you’re taken seriously by the right people and organisations. My advice to companies thinking of setting up in the UK is to make full use of UKTI and ask them to help you build up good relationships with UK contacts. They do a great job.
Prosfit was started out in August 2013 when Alan saw his son Christopher go through the arduous process of finding a comfortable socket for his prosthesis. He resolved to find a way to improve patients’ experience and ‘time to comfort’.
By April 2014, ProsFit had proved that its Adelphi software solution worked. The software vastly improved the time it took to create suitable sockets for the residual limbs of below-the-knee amputees.
Industry: Healthcare - medical technology
Country of origin: Bulgaria
Investment locations: Manchester, North West
Published: 15 May 2015