ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

Wales could be the new centre for medical developments if plans for Monmouthshire County to become a successful healthcare technology hub are successful.

London corporate firm Capital Kinetics recently approached the local authority about developing a business incubator facility in the area, with Monmouthshire Med Tech (MMT) to be based in Magor, South Wales Argus revealed.

MMT will take over the council’s old Innovation House offices, with the local authority keen to use this as an opportunity to lure other medical technology businesses to the area.

The publication revealed a report to the cabinet that stated: “MMT will advocate for the county as a great place for this type of business to start, locate and grow.”

According to the document, MMT could also “become central to an emerging eco-system fuelled by a number of successful companies already based here”.

It was added that it would also provide great potential to create more businesses and generate “above-average salaries”.

Indeed, the council intends to offer finance for 15 companies via loans from its £50 million investment fund.

Businesses will be able to access loans of up to £25,000 for a year, and a steering group will decide whether applications should be made to the council’s investment committee, with 100 companies able to be assessed at any one time.

Capital Kinetics has had a significant part to play in the development – and potential growth – of MMT, with work to establish the centre having begun in November 2018.

It will initially launch as a nine-month pilot scheme, but if it is successful it could become an important centre for medical technology in Britain.

This comes after Nottingham Trent University submitted plans for an £8 million medical technology centre as part of its Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF). The hub will help new technologies advance much more quickly, which would improve treatments for patients across the country.

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Drilling geothermal wells is challenging and often not cost effective. A team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma in the US is currently developing smart lost circulation materials to help make geothermal drilling less expensive. reported on their research, explaining that they’re focusing on the development of shape memory polymers, which are activated by geothermal temperature. The aim of using them is to prevent fluid escaping from the fractured rock around the wellbore.

Speaking to the news provider, Saeed Salehi, project principal investigator and professor of petroleum and geological engineering at the university, commented: “The shape polymers under development for this project are novel expandable and programmable polymers that activate when drilling a high-temperature geothermal drilling operations.”

He added that the current cost of geothermal drilling is “prohibitive” without new technologies such as these polymers being developed.

This is also just the first phase of the project. After investigating lost circulation prevention methods and smart wellbore strengthening materials, the team will move onto phase two. This will focus on flow loop tests of the materials they develop.

The final phase will involve running computational models to find the best combination of techniques, material sizes and concentration to be used in real wells.

A recent post for Think Geoenergy explained that drilling fluids are a “critical component” of drilling operations because they help maintain the stability of the wellbore, they provide pressure, and they allow drilling tools and the downhole environment to cool.

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