Scottish medical device business completes oversubscribed funding round

  • Clear Surgical secures £280,000 to develop portfolio of surgical device technology and to scale its groundbreaking OpLight™ technology
  • Company is first client of new Medical Device Manufacturing Centre at Heriot Watt University

9 November 2020:  Clear Surgical, an ambitious Scottish based medical device business, has secured £280,000 of new investment from existing shareholders, in an oversubscribed funding round.

Led by the investment syndicate Kelvin Capital, and with Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) and Scottish Investment Bank participation, the funding round will support the development of new advanced surgical devices and help build on the success of its first product, the OpLight™ which is currently used in Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and in European countries including Italy, Czech Republic and the Nordic countries.

The Kelvin Capital syndicate, led by directors John McNicol and Angus Hay, represents private investors in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Clear Surgical works collaboratively with surgeons to develop innovations that arise from issues highlighted by healthcare professionals.  The OpLight™ was developed originally by former NHS Ayrshire and Arran clinician Dr Murali Subramaniam, a vascular surgeon who recognised the benefits of enhanced lighting during surgical procedures to remove shadowing that may come from traditional overhead lighting systems, head lamps or fibre optic systems.

The integral patented light guide designed into each OpLight™ disposable cartridge maximises and directs light into the cavity eliminating the possibility of shadowing by being attached to existing surgical devices like surgical retractors.

Next generation Oplight products under development include a disposable surgical UV light to identify and treat bacteria during an operation to minimise or eliminate the risk of post operative infection and another that uses near-infrared light that can highlight and excite malignant cells to guide surgeons during their removal. 

In addition, a new orthopaedic device which is the creation of Alan Johnstone, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, is being refined by Clear Surgical for optimum implant placement and corrective bone alignment surgery.

A significant reduction of time spent in surgery, with consequent cost savings, is facilitated by the OpLight technology because studies have shown that around 20% of theatre time can be spent adjusting standard theatre overhead lighting as the procedure progresses. 

Clear Surgical recently became the first client of the new £3.7m Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) based in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh campus.  Its mission is to provide expert advice on manufacturing engineering, regulatory issues and funding, coupled with technically-supported access to manufacturing facilities, to assist small and medium sized companies in the translation of medical device concepts through to small batch commercial prototypes.

Michelle Ward, Chairman of the Board at Clear Surgical said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the business. Securing important new funding from an oversubscribed funding round and agreeing a development relationship with the new Medical Device Manufacturing Centre at Heriot Watt University gives a clear pathway to build the business domestically and internationally.

“By working directly with frontline surgeons and turning their ideas into reality we create solutions that have real and immediate benefits.  Our products are not speculative because they come directly from the very people who want them and who will use them.”

Angus Hay, Director of Kelvin Capital said: “Novel solutions to problems very often come from those who face those challenges every day and in the case of Clear Surgical and its portfolio of medical devices that is exactly true. The OpLight solves a major issue for surgeons, especially in countries where power supply is a problem and it is applicable and complementary to an extensive range of procedures and existing devices. Collaborating with front line surgeons and creating solutions to improve patient care is at the heart of this innovative business.”

Graham Watson from SHIL added: “SHIL has been working with Clear Surgical for some time. Our strong collaboration is testament to the value of supporting NHS-led innovation. Translating innovative ideas from health professionals into real-world solutions is central to our role at SHIL – in the case of Clear Surgical a successful medical device company has been established with global reach. This new funding, combined with ambitious development plans, will support further advances in surgical innovation and ultimately improve patient care around the world.”

Kerry Sharp, Director, the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “The potential for Clear Surgical’s OpLight to greatly enhance surgical conditions and patient care by simply retrofitting existing instruments really captured the imagination of theatre teams the world over. We’re confident our continued support for the company will lead to the development of further healthcare innovations that create similar levels of recognition and excitement among medical professionals.”


Issued on behalf of Clear Surgical Limited by Wave PR Ltd. For further information please contact Jonathan Kennedy on 07799-768968 or at

Notes to editors

Michelle Ward – Prior to joining Clear Surgical as Chairman of the Board, Michelle held a number of board level positions most recently as CEO for 5 years running Danish company Uhrenholt’s major subsidiary in Russia.  Beginning her career at Nestle she enjoyed a 25-year international career which culminated as General Manager of its confectionery business in Poland before joining Philip Morris as Managing Director of UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

She acquired experience in healthcare while running a successful medical device company in North Africa that specialized in dialysis and diabetes and finalized their expansion into the Middle East before returning to Europe after the Arab Spring.

Kelvin Capital Ltd (Lead Investor) is a Scottish based, private investment fund, with over 240 angel investors and a diverse portfolio of 20 investee companies having made investments of over £37 million to date.

Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) work in partnership with NHS Scotland to identify, protect, develop and commercialise healthcare innovations to improve patient care.

About the Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital and loan funding. It helps ambitious Scottish companies get the right level of funding from the right sources at the right time, through building relationships with both domestic and international investors.

SIB manages a suite of co-investment funds including the Scottish Co-Investment Fund, the Scottish Venture Fund and the Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, and is an investor in Epidarex Capital’s Life Sciences Fund.

SIB administers the Scottish Loan Scheme, with funding secured from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Growth Scheme, and is delivering the Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government’s as part of its COVID-19 response.

Furthermore, SIB provides funding into LendingCrowd, Scotland’s marketplace lender providing loans to SMEs, and Maven’s Regional Buyout Fund (MBO) that offers financial support for management buyouts (MBOs) and helps existing management teams acquire businesses from their owners so they can continue to flourish.

SIB’s team of financial readiness specialists help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance.

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre at Heriot Watt University is a close collaboration between engineers, clinicians and business development experts from four universities across Scotland: Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Robert Gordon, with track records in manufacturing, testing and clinical translation of medical devices and is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund managed by Scottish Enterprise, the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal, and the universities.