Programme partner Orthopaedic Research UK

The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is supported by a range of partners, from NHS trusts, to industry and charities, one of which is Orthopaedic Research UK.

Founded in 1989 Orthopaedic Research UK is a medical charity dedicated to advancing musculoskeletal knowledge by funding and publicising research and organising training and education which promote collaboration between healthcare professionals within the MSK community. We contacted the team to find our more out their work and partnership with the programme.

Orthopaedic Research UK Logo

Our founder Ronald Furlong was a clinical entrepreneur.  He combined a highly successful career as an orthopaedic surgeon with an equally successful career as a business leader. Furlong was the pioneer of uncemented hip implants, a disruptive innovation of its time that has subsequently benefited the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the world.  The business he co-founded to bring this innovation to the market, JRI, was the first company in the world to produce an uncemented hip implant with a hydroxyapatite coating, creating the real prospect of a hip implant for life. This product won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Technical Achievement in 1993.

In 1989, he established the Furlong Research Foundation, later to become Orthopaedic Research UK. Since that time, we have maintained Furlong’s spirit of entrepreneurialism, because the scale of the challenges facing all of us involved in musculoskeletal health continue to require new ideas and techniques. As one of the few charities devoted to addressing the most important gaps in research funding and professional education in bone, joint and muscle wellbeing, we have a critical role to play in enabling pain-free movement for all. The stark reality is that poor musculoskeletal health is a major and debilitating drain on society.  It is the third largest area of expenditure for the NHS. Tragically, it is also linked to rising levels of obesity, anxiety, isolation and depression.  With such a huge societal impact, we must never accept the inevitability of pain, or indeed its cost.

Since 2004 we have funded 151 research projects and invested over £11m to advance knowledge and encourage innovation within orthopaedics. We also invest in start-up business that are active in the MSK field, through the appropriately named the Ronald Furlong Fund for Start-ups.  Our aim is to commercialise and accelerate the roll-out of innovative ideas that can benefit patients as quickly as possible.

“We believe in the value of collaboration, working with innovators, funders, academics and clinicians across the whole MSK community. This is why we are delighted to be part of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.

We share the programmes belief that clinicians are not only well placed to identify key problems and potential solutions, but many have the entrepreneurial ambition to bring their ideas to life. Orthopaedic and musculoskeletal specialists are already well represented among the clinicians attending the programme. The orthopaedic discipline appears to attract inventive and entrepreneurial people, just like our founder and benefactor Ronald Furlong.

We hope that we can contribute to the further development of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme through our connections with clinicians and patient groups and by helping to support musculoskeletal ideas developed by clinicians. The programme has already helped companies related to orthopaedics raise tens of millions of pounds. Given the scale of the challenges we face as a society, it is critical that we continue to encourage MSK clinicians to bring their innovative solutions to the market.

To find out more about our breakthrough research and education programmes in bone, joint and muscle wellbeing, visit

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The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is supported by over 60 partners, Orthopaedic Research UK one such partners. They help support, shape, and develop the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme. Our partner network provides opportunities for our Clinical Entrepreneurs including internships, access to NHS test and evaluation sites, academic and commercial, knowledge exchange and connection to customers.

If your organisation is interested in Partnership opportunities, please contact the team at

Published by Lucy Dentice

Deputy Programme Manager for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.