HaB International Ltd
This successful collaboration involved HaB Internationanal Ltd and an academic, Professor Alison Mc Connell, with the right expertise, (who involved other academics with further areas of expertise), plus an appropriate funding programme of knowledge transfer (KTP) and has resulted in a transformation in the company and the exploitation of expertise to develop a family of new products and a new capability within the company. It was a winning formula, that has resulted in a continuing process of collaboration between Harry Brar’s company, Professor Alison McConnell and Brunel University.
The company was founded in 1988 as Leisure Systems International Ltd with sales, marketing and distribution of products for sport, health, lifestyle and wellness sectors. In April 2001 the company acquired the rights to the POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training product. Since 2004 the company has taken part in three KTP projects with Brunel University with Professor Alison McConnell as lead academic. As a result, the company has diversified into small-scale manufacture and been transformed now with its own product design and development
capability. Three of the four KTP Associates on the projects still work for the company.
The purpose of the projects was to develop different aspects of the POWERbreathe and other nonpharmacological products for chronic disease management. A patent has been submitted with three academics and three Associates as co-inventors.
The first project ran from July 2004 to July 2006, and its aim was to establish a new product development capability and to develop an advanced hand-held, variable load inspiratory muscle trainer. The knowledge transferred was inspiratory physiology and industrial design. A new product development capability was established and the POWERbreathe plus and TrySafe Filter were developed.
The second project ran from September 2005 to September 2007 with two Associates. The aim was to developed a novel, clinic-based computerised, electromechanical diagnostic instrument for use by healthcare professionals in Primary and Secondary care. Mechatronic design, and embedded and desktop software development knowledge was transferred. The outcome was to develop platform technology for both variable and load inspiratory muscle training and clinical diagnosis. New IP was generated and pre-production prototypes developed. The company has embarked on a third KTP project in co-operation with Brunel University which is drawing on expertise from both the School of Sports Science and Education and the School of Engineering and Design.
The current range of Powerbreathe products is available in the high street and with online retail [Tesco, Argos, Amazon, etc]. Current users are athletes/sports people, recreational exercisers, competitive athletes, people suffering from respiratory conditions, divers, uniformed services, singers and musicians. Growth in the market for the new product will come mainly from people with breathing-related conditions, an estimated 20 million in the UK alone. For more information visit: the POWERbreathe website