Medical Futures, an innovations company, has announced the launch of the inaugural Respiratory Innovation Awards.

The Respiratory Innovation Awards are an international competition to find the next best idea in respiratory medicine that has the potential to change peoples’ lives.

Particular emphasis is placed on innovative ideas, research and projects relating to the use of gases in healthcare.

The Respiratory Innovation Awards, being run in partnership with the British Thoracic Society, the UK Department of Health, and the Medical Research Council, is the world's first transparent peer review process for innovation and is part of the Medical Futures Awards process, now in its tenth successful year.

As well as the critical recognition and endorsement of a Medical Futures Innovation Award, winners receive a bespoke package of support to turn ideas into viable propositions that have credibility with investors. This may include assistance in articulating their idea; securing funding; and introductions to professional and commercial contacts vital in taking their idea to the next level.

Past winners have raised over £80m of funding and many are now products and services changing people's lives.

Commenting on the winners, Andy Goldberg, OBE MD FRCS and founder of Medical Futures said, “We are particularly keen to see gas‐based innovations, point of care diagnostics, and novel delivery methods, that have the potential to prevent and treat disease and drive forward improvements to patient care.”

Entrants have until the 28th February 2011 to submit a brief outline of their idea to the website, which will be considered by the Judging panel. Shortlisted entrants will be invited to pitch their ideas and businesses to a world‐class panel of experts in respiratory disease, chaired by Professor Stephen Holgate.