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Start-up get's funding for AI-powered wellness ecosystem

AI sensory solution for millions suffering from burnout

Mentoring | Research and development |

The need

International travel, severe sleep deprivation, respiratory illnesses, back pain, physical and mental impact of life always on the go are experienced by over 3 billion people around the globe. Working from the idea that generations ago, some people would sleep soundly suspended from the wall by a harness, Mirjana Prokic set out to invent a medically approved device which would be easy to transport, assemble, and provide power-nap relief to sufferers of lower back pain, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and burn out. 

The start-up reached out to Brunel's RIEm team for help with securing innovation funding and optimising the solution to take the device to the market. 

The solution

Having won the West London Business grant Mirjana took up a place on the first RIEm Programme at Brunel University. 

Not only did the RIEm team introduce Mirjana to a specialist manufacturer in the Midlands, but they also taught her funding bid-writing skills. Under the watchful eye of the university’s proficient in-house bid writers, she was able to write a pitch for funding that could be adapted for different scenarios.

Mirjana has worked with Dr David Bell of the Computer Science department to tap into his knowledge of AI and digital technology for healthcare products.

The outcome

  • Developed technology to embed sensors into the pod and plug in user’s existing wearables, to allow users to monitor different health biomarkers for personalized pod pre-sets and programmes
  • Successful UK patent application for the pod
  • Successful application for an Innovate UK Fast Track grant of £50,000 into the new venture for more R&D
  • Interest from healthcare, sporting, and military organisations, as well as orders from around the world
It’s not enough to be in business. You need to create a network of supporters and I include here the academics from Brunel. They open a whole new way of thinking about innovation, design, and technology which the rest of us could easily miss. They have the latest theories and research data from scientific trials which we take and test with our user panels. It makes for a great collaboration.

Mirjana Prokic, Founder of hangAIR

We have helped Mirjana and her team as part of the RIEm programme to access tailor made university research expertise to validate their solution and secure innovation funding. It has been a very rewarding experience to work with them and help them succeed.

Dr Michael Joseph, Business Development Manager (Healthcare and MedTech) & RIEm Lead

Get in touch with the project team member(s) for this case study

Dr Michael Paratharayil Dr Michael Paratharayil
Email Dr Michael Paratharayil Business Development Manager
I have managed large partnerships for 15+ years in private sector, in over 25 countries including for a large Consultancy Group in senior management role. I have led capacity strengthening programmes in the UK and overseas on resource mobilisation and funding diversification. I have secured large funding and investment in health, education, research and innovation. I manage research and innovation and knowledge exchange partnerships with businesses and health sector actors in the field of Health and Med Tech innovation. I conceptualised and lead Brunel's award winning Research, Innovate and Emerge (RIEm) Programme to strengthen the capacity of businesses to optimise innovation and access funding to take the solution to the market. I am a member of Brunel’s Business Innovation Board and contribute to Early Career Academic Capacity Development Programmes and South Asia Regional Working Group in addition to innovation ecosystem management with businesses. I previously successfully led the delivery of Brunel’s Business Resilience Fund. I am a Vice Chair of UK Public Administration \Association (UKAPA). Reuters named me as one of the top 10 influential international programme managers in 2010. I speak at national and international conferences on innovation funding systems. I completed my PhD in Public Health and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Case study last modified 06/06/2023

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