Peter Thornton is Joint Managing Director and inventor of the DermaTuff Skin – Tear Protection Stockings and Sleeves, a break-through solution for elderly people who keep getting horrific skin tears on their legs and arms. His company is based in Devon.

Dermatuff_both_legs_S_clickhere-510x510Peter attended the Innovation and Growth programme looking to explore new innovative ways to help him achieve the full market potential of his invention which he believes to be considerable. The product design had been trialled with outstanding results, patented and registered as a Medical Device Class 1. The product was about to be listed by the NHS Supply Chain and was going very well. However Peter still had a number of large barriers to overcome, he knew getting the manufacturing process right would be critical, finding the right specialists in spinning and weaving were critical for the product to meet its full performance characteristics.

Peter knew that positioning the company to attract the right investment was also critical for success. This is a problem faced by many small companies and how to achieve this was going to be a challenge while also having to address all the day to day business issues.

Peter said, ‘getting the product to market quickly is our challenge, we have strong customer interest and have overcome the technical and regulatory issues, we are now ready to move into the next phase of production. Attending the Innovation and Growth programme provided me with practical and useful tools as well as a broader understanding of how innovation works in successful companies. I particularly liked the session on understanding markets and marketing strategies and met many like-minded entrepreneurs from whom I was able to glean ideas, it was an excellent programme’.

For more information about Dermatuff visit

The Innovation Management & Growth workshops were managed by Devon & Cornwall Business Council in partnership with Devon County Council and delivered by Optimise4 Limited. These workshops were part of a wider pan – European project (the ATLANT-KIS project) which has been designed to provide practical support to Devon based SMEs, enabling business Owners and Directors of smaller organisations to access specialist knowledge and expertise that may otherwise have been out of their reach financially.

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