Team behind revolutionary portable dialysis machine wins award for UK’s top engineering innovation of 2022
13 JULY 2022: The team behind a revolutionary portable dialysis machine that enables patients to treat themselves at home and relieves pressure on over-stretched hospitals, has won the UK’s leading engineering innovation award for 2022.
The Royal Academy of Engineering has today announced Quanta Dialysis Technologies as the recipient of the 2022 MacRobert Award, the UK’s longest running and most prestigious award for UK engineering innovation. Joining previous MacRobert Award winners including Rolls-Royce, Arup and Raspberry Pi, Quanta has been recognized for developing the SC+, a compact and portable dialysis machine that revolutionises care for patients with renal failure.
The MacRobert Award celebrates engineering developments that demonstrate outstanding engineering innovation, commercial success and tangible social benefits, and the SC+ impressed judges across all three criteria. The SC+ offers patients a dramatic improvement on quality of life since it is easier to operate, faster to train on and more mobile than traditional dialysis machines. This flexibility also enables patients to treat themselves at home overnight, receiving more dialysis care than they would in clinical settings, eliminating the weekend gap without dialysis.
The elimination of expensive and time-consuming sterilisation between treatments thanks to the disposable cartridge developed by Quanta, means treatment for patients is more straightforward and hospitals are able to save money on maintenance, repairs and transporting patients to clinics. Quanta is already working with NHS Trusts and, during lockdown, provided its entire UK SC+ stock to the NHS in order to relieve pressure on hospitals and ICUs.
Judges of the award were also impressed by the enormous commercial potential of the SC+. The unit was approved by the FDA in 2021 and is already selling in the US, where the dialysis market is expected to exceed $12bn. In 2021, Quanta raised $245million to fund the rollout of SC+ in the US — the largest-ever private funding round for a dialysis device company.
The SC+ marks a major advance in dialysis technology, which has seen little innovation in decades. Each single-use cartridge incorporates a series of pneumatic membrane pumps, rather than the piston-driven pumps found in traditional dialysis machines. This provides more accurate, consistent flow rates and enhanced distribution within the dialyser itself, which acts as an artificial kidney, while minimising cross contamination and bio-burden (the number of microorganisms living on a non-sterilised surface) between treatments.
Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “This UK-based global healthtech success story, which traces back to technology first developed for use in fruit juice dispensers, demonstrates remarkable engineering ingenuity. Recent success comes on the back of Quanta’s considerable journey as a company. The team has been working for a decade to develop a machine that dramatically improves patient care and quality of life, relieves pressure on hospitals and showcases the enormous commercial potential that cutting edge engineering can unlock. The team exemplifies the persistence, innovation and unconventional thinking that has long been a hallmark of the UK’s greatest engineering success stories and they are worthy winners of the MacRobert Award.”
The Quanta team were announced as the winners of the MacRobert Award at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Awards Dinner on Tuesday 12 July at Leicester Square’s stunning new sustainably designed and engineered hotel, The Londoner. The team received a £50,000 prize and join an impressive line-up of previous MacRobert Award winners. The first award in 1969 was won jointly by Rolls-Royce for the Pegasus engine used in the iconic Harrier jump jet, and Freeman, Fox and Partners, for designing the Severn Bridge. More recently, 2008 winner Touch Bionics i-Limb Hand has helped to transform medical prosthetics, while people across all seven continents still rely on winning innovations from the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Raspberry Pi and Inmarsat.
Notes to editors
First presented in 1969, the MacRobert Award is widely regarded as the most coveted in the industry, honouring the winning organisation with a gold medal and the team members with a cash prize of £50,000. Founded by the MacRobert Trust, the award is presented and run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers.
The 2022 judging panel is made up of:
- Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS (Chair of Judges), former Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Founder, Cambridge Display Technology
- Naomi Climer CBE FREng, Chair of Council, International Broadcasting Convention (IBC); Former President Media Cloud Services, Sony
- Dr Andy Harter CBE DL FREng, Chair, Cambridge Network; Founder RealVNC
- Professor John Fisher CBE FREng FMedSci, former Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds
- Professor Dame Julia King, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS, Chair, The Carbon Trust
- Professor Gordon Masterton DL OBE FREng FRSE, Trustee; The MacRobert Trust; Chair of Future Infrastructure, University of Edinburgh; Former Vice-President, Jacobs
- Dr Ruth McKernan CBE FMedSci, Venture Partner, SV Health Investors & Dementia Discovery Fund
- Professor Phil Nelson CBE FREng, Professor of Acoustics, University of Southampton
- Dr Liane Smith CBE FREng, Director, Larkton Ltd; former SVP Digital Solutions, Wood Group
The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with its Fellows and partners, it’s growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.
The winning Quanta Dialysis Technologies team includes:
- John Milad, CEO
- Professor Clive Buckberry FREng, Chief Engineer and Technology Officer
- Keith Heyes, Systems Engineering Director & Original Inventor
- Mark Wallace, Lead Innovations Engineer
- David Spurling, Lead Architect (Mechanical Engineering)
- Maddy Warren, Strategic Dialysis Advisor and Community Engagement Consultant
Annual Awards Dinner 2022. This year’s Royal Academy of Engineering Awards Dinner was held in London on Tuesday 12 July. Along with the announcement of the winner of this year’s MacRobert Award, the eventalso celebrated the winners of other awards and prizes including the Major Project Award, The Princess Royal Silver Medals, the President’s Medal, the Rooke Award and the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year. The headline sponsor of this year’s Awards Dinner was BAE Systems, with gold sponsors bp and Rolls-Royce.
Find out more about the MacRobert Award on the website or via the Royal Academy of Engineering’s social media channels:
The MacRobert Award press team can be contacted directly via email: