£4m investment for Bristol bionic arm firm
Bristol-based Open Bionics will take its 3D-printed prosthetic arms to even more children after gaining £4.6 million from investors.
The deal will allow it to expand its manufacturing capabilities in the UK and international markets including the United States.
Williams F1 team’s investment arm Foresight Williams, Downing LLP and Ananda Impact Ventures co-led the investment with £1.5m each, with additional funding from Rathbone Nominees.
Samantha Payne, co-founder and COO of Open Bionics, said: “This funding enables us to serve multiple international markets.
“We’re thrilled to finally be able to deliver bionic hands to amputees and people with limb differences in the USA.”
The company previously created the Hero Arm using 3D printing at low cost, which is lightweight, adjustable and offers multi-grip capabilities.
The device can be used by children as young as nine, and control is via sensors that detect and respond to movement in the upper arm muscles.
The business also enjoys licences with Disney, Marvel and Pixar to accessorise its prosthetics with superhero characters.
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Development of the Hero Arm was originally supported by a contract with NHS England that used SBRI Healthcare – part of the Innovate UK Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which helps businesses work with big public sector organisations to implement new technologies.
Open Bionics was awarded £697,464 to support clinical trials of its bionic limbs for child amputees which helped to get the product medically-certified.
It is now available through the NHS and other national healthcare systems including in France and Germany, as well as private sales.