28 Sep

Innerva makes new appointment to develop next generation of active ageing products

By Laura Childs 28th Sep, 2022 Care Provider Leisure Rehabilitation

Engineering specialist will manage £1.1m project to improve active ageing in the UK

Innerva has appointed Matt Holland as head of product development to drive innovation and develop the next generation of power-assisted products for the active ageing sector, helping more operators and rehabilitation centres to tap into and provide for this growing (and) lucrative market.  

The engineering specialist has formerly worked with the medical sector to develop bespoke instrumentation for complex spinal surgical procedures across EMEA, and completed a PhD in Biometrology at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Future Metrology Hub, part of The University of Huddersfield related to orthopaedic wear.

For the last two and a half years, Holland has worked with Innerva as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of Engineering and Department of Sports and Exercise Science. Running since 1975, the KTP scheme connects forward thinking businesses with the UK’s world class knowledge bases to help businesses innovate for growth.  

As KTP Associate, Holland streamlined Innerva’s product development process, embedding biomechanical principles and CAD capabilities to allow the world’s leading provider of power-assisted exercise equipment to bring new products to market more quickly and efficiently.

Innerva’s Rotary Torso and Tricep Dip machines for wheelchair users – launched as part of the Access Range in June – were the first products to be developed under the new robust design and development process.  The two new pieces address the issues caused by prolonged wheelchair use in older adults and those with long-term health conditions.

Following his work on the KTP partnership, Holland has been shortlisted for the Innovate UK KTP Awards 2022, which recognise the people and partnerships behind the UK’s most inspiring and successful KTP projects.

“I’m excited to take up this new role and work across the full spectrum of Innerva products, from the latest upgrades to new developments to make it easier for older people to enjoy active lives and help operators engage with this market,” says Holland.

He will also manage Innerva’s UK Research and Innovation’s Healthy Ageing Challenge project, which is currently underway. The company was awarded £1.1m this summer to address the barriers to physical activity in older adults to help people remain independent and socially connected for as long as possible.

“It’s been fascinating to hear the feedback coming out of the workshops with older adults and public sector operators. Currently, there’s a pretty limited health and fitness offering for people aged over 60. This research is helping us to understand why consumers don’t use gyms and leisure centres and what operators can do to attract this demographic to their facilities,” he says.

Howard Blackburn, MD of Innerva, said: “After the success of the KTP, we are delighted that Matt is heading up our product development where his skills and technical expertise will drive innovative solutions that support people as they age to improve healthy life expectancy across the UK.”