Ashworth: Oxford based SME gets vital EU funding for liver disease research


Oxford-based Perspectum Diagnostics Ltd will receive around £2.6m of EU funding to develop a rapid assessment of chronic liver disease using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Liver disease already affects over 10% of the UK population. A fundamental challenge is that liver disease generally does not cause symptoms until tissue damage is severe and irreversible: for this reason it has been called ‘the silent killer’.

The funding comes from the Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and will help bring the product from pilot-phase to the market.

Commenting on the announcement, Conservative MEP for South-East England, Richard Ashworth said ‘this is an excellent example of how the EU can support innovative SMEs in the UK to develop technologies that will ultimately save lives.’

‘SMEs are the life-line of our economy and it is so important that we continue to provide stable sources of investment to enable them to grow successfully. SMEs provide 60% of all private sector employment in the UK and are vital to our long-term economic plan.

‘The EU SME Instrument enhances research and development, which, in turn, benefits the British people. Clearly, membership of the EU is good for the science and research that improves people’s lives.’

Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union

The following letter was sent to local media on 24 February 2016

The Prime Minister has secured a historic reform deal which now paves the way for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union as promised in the Conservative’s 2015 manifesto.


The Cameron package has put the UK in a unique place; and it is a good deal for Britain. We have full membership of and equal access to the largest and wealthiest single market in the world bigger than even the USA. We do not have to join the Euro and our taxpayers will not have to pay for Eurozone bailouts. We are not members of the Schengen zone; that means we are under no obligation to accept refugees, migrants or third country nationals unless we choose to do so. We have legal recognition that the UK is an independent sovereign country in charge of its own destiny; our parliament has a stronger role and we are not committed to ever closer union.


Far too often this debate is about emotions and not facts. The ‘out’ campaign has not offered any credible alternative, and it is not simply enough to say leave for leave’s sake.. Why step out of the world’s largest, wealthiest single market, putting industry, jobs and growth at risk for a leap into the dark?


I support the Prime Minister’s reform deal and Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union.