What was the punishment for being an “innovator” in the 1600s?

The punishment for being an ‘innovator’ was getting your ears chopped off – you were seen as a troublemaker. Thankfully that’s not the case now, and we’ve created an Innovation Fund to support those making life-saving innovations.

Innovation Fund

One of the major problems faced by clinicians and researchers today is the lack of initial funding to get pioneering ideas quickly off the ground. Sadly, overstretched NHS budgets and complex processes to pinpoint these innovative ideas mean that opportunities for progress are being missed. We recognise how essential it is to invest in the latest technology and innovation. The Innovation Fund will ensure that ideas go quickly from ‘bench to bedside’ so that clear progress for patients can be achieved.

The fund was launched in June 2018 and we now have a dedicated group of 18 Ambassadors (who each commit to a minimum £2,500 donation per year for three years). We are growing the network all the time, and are always looking for passionate  individuals who can support this exciting initiative and become ambassadors.

One of the Innovation Fund grants was awarded to Consultant Neurosurgeon, Hani Marcus for his work developing a ‘smart’ instrument for keyhole brain surgery. Over two years from August 2019, Hani will be working with engineering PHD student Emmanouil Dimitrakakis to develop this instrument to improve the safety and efficiency of the extended transsphenoidal approach – keyhole surgery done through the nose for tumours on and around the pituitary gland. The proposed instrument will be smaller, simpler, and less expensive than current options and will allow for wrist-like dexterity

Impact it will make:

Over 500 patients every year undergo surgery for brain tumours in this area. Long term this will mean that more patients will be able to have this kind of keyhole surgery and avoid the more risky option of open brain surgery. The difference this will make to individual lives and outcomes is enormous.

Fundraising commitments:

The National Brain Appeal has committed to raising £100,000 for this project via the Innovation Fund.

Help us raise vital funds for Queen Square projects

Please help us achieve our vision to help create better outcomes for everyone with a neurological disorder by making a donation to help raise vital funds.

Get In Touch

Contact details

020 3448 4724


The National Brain Appeal
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