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Round Up – August/September 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Kara Mackenzie

Wellcome Trust – Innovator Awards

Closing Date:  Ongoing

Value: up to £500k, or £750k for collaborations

Eligibility:  Researchers, individuals and teams from not-for profit and commercial organisations can apply.

Summary: For researchers who are developing healthcare innovations that could have a major and measurable impact on human health.

Further information;



EUREKA - Multilateral call for projects on healthy ageing

Summary - EUREKA invites proposals for its multilateral call for projects on healthy ageing. This supports applied research and innovation projects on the development of digital health tools and smart devices to promote healthy ageing. Projects may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • connecting robotics and medical imaging systems to simplify surgical procedures;
  • software as a medical device or diagnostic incorporating artificial intelligence;
  • software for better diagnostics or therapy;
  • digital health and smart drug delivery services;
  • linking big data capabilities with new knowledge from precision medicine to create precision health offerings that promotes preventive interventions before symptoms of disease manifest.
  • Consortia must include at least two for-profit independent companies from two of the countries participating in the call. Participation of research institutes and universities is welcome according to national funding regulations. Partners from other countries may participate, but funding must be secured within the deadline for the call.

Further information -


NIHR – AI Health and Care Awards Future round anticipated

Summary:  The AI Health and Care Award supports AI technologies across the spectrum of development, from initial feasibility to evaluation within clinical pathways in the NHS and social care settings, to the point that they could be nationally commissioned. Key areas of focus include screening, diagnosis, decision support and system efficiency. Applications may be submitted by an SME, an NHS Trust or service provider or a Higher Education Institution.

Phases 1-3 of the award support feasibility, development and clinical evaluation, and real world testing of AI technologies. The Phase 4 award supports initial systems adoption of AI technologies with market authorisation into the NHS, evaluating the AI technology within clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy and clinical and economic impact.

Further information:


UKRI – Strength in places Fund

Closing Date:  Anticipated Wave 2 in Summer 2020

Value: TBC


To support innovation-led relative regional growth by identifying and supporting areas of R&D strengths that are:

  • driving clusters of businesses across a range of sizes that have potential to innovate, or to adopt new technologies;
  • in order that those clusters will become nationally and internationally competitive.
  • To enhance local collaborations involving research and innovation. Building on the underpinning regional economic impact role of universities, research institutes, Catapults and other R&D facilities (such as Innovation and Knowledge Centres - IKCs); and engaging those businesses at the forefront of delivering economic growth through innovation within the identified economic geography.
  • Further information -

Innovate UK – Biomedical Catalyst 2020 – Round 1 – Early & Late stage awards

Closing Date:  7th October 2020

Value: £250k to £4m

Summary: UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £30m to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.  These can include:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

You must align your project to one of the following innovation areas:

  • medical technologies and devices
  • stratified healthcare
  • advanced therapies (gene and cell therapies)
  • digital health
  • drug discovery
  • diagnostics

Lead:  for solo projects – UK SME or RTO  For Collaborative projects – UK business, RTO, Academic institution, charity, not for profit or public sector (n.b large companies will not be able to claim funding) – Subcontractors are allowed

Further information: 


Innovate UK – Eureka Eurostars 2 – Round 14

Closing Date:  3rd September 2020

Value: Up to 360K Euros (60% of eligible project costs – which ever is lesser)

Summary: R&D projects - You can apply for Eurostars funding for any sector or industry. It can address any technological area but must be aimed at the development of a new product, process or service.

Your project must have a civilian purpose. It cannot have a military purpose.


Lead: Aimed at micro/SMEs

Further information:


SBRI – Using Digital technologies to support psychological therapies

Closing Date:  9th September 2020

Value: up to £10k inc VAT, 3 month projects started by 21st October 2020

Summary: Funded by NHS Grampian – Aim: The aim is to increase availability of psychological care at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital for children and young people (CYP) with significant gastrointestinal symptoms but no underlying medical disease. Where there are no biomedical solutions, digital psychological support allows CYP and their families to self-manage symptoms and live a fuller life.

Your proposed solution must adjust to individual needs in ways that are engaging and effective.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Further information:


Coming Soon – NHS England – NHS Innovation Accelerator

Closing Date: 23rd October 2020 (forecast)

Value: £20k Bursery plus mentoring

Summary: NHS England invites applications for the NHS innovation accelerator. This supports individuals representing high impact, evidence-based innovations, sourced nationally and internationally, which address one or more of the commitments laid out in the NHS long term plan. Individuals should apply if:

  • the innovation addresses one or more of the commitments laid out in the NHS long term plan;
  • the innovation demonstrates, in practice, significant outcomes for significantly lower cost;
  • the innovation is supported by an evidence-base and is ready to be diffused across the NHS;
  • the individual has a passion for learning and for sharing their insight widely;
  • the individual is committed to scaling evidence-based innovations for patient and population benefit.

The accelerator is open to all types of innovations including: devices; digital; IT platforms; services; processes; pathways; and workforce models.

Who:  Inventors of the innovation, the lead for it within an organisation or the representative of an innovation who wishes to scale it across the NHS may apply. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world and can be clinicians or academics for any organisation.


Further information:


EPSRC – Healthcare Technologies new challenges Network Plus

Closing Date: 4th September 2020

Value:  £5m to support between 6 and 8 networks for 3-4 years

Summary: The theme is keen to support networks that address their delivery plan priorities for transforming healthcare:

  • technologies to improve healthcare treatment;
  • affordable and inclusive healthcare solutions;
  • healthier environments where people live and work;
  • new digital healthcare systems.

Networks could undertake a variety of activities including workshops, events, feasibility studies, secondments or horizon scanning.

Who:  The PI must be resident in the UK and an academic employee at lecturer or equivalent level at a UK HEI, research institute or independent research organisation.

Further information:


NIHR – AI for Multiple Long-term conditions (AIM)

Closing Date: 29th September 2020

Value: Research Collaboration Stream – £2.5 - £5m for 36 months ; Development Award - £120k for 8 month project prior to applying for Wave 2 full research collaboration project.

Summary: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) invites proposals to undertake programmes of research to spearhead the use of artificial intelligence (AI) methods to develop insights for the identification and subsequent prevention of multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) or MLTC-M.

In addition, NIHR invites proposals for a Research Support Facility (RSF) to work with Research Collaborations funded through the NIHR Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-term Conditions (AIM) call. Up to £3m funding is available for up to 40 months to support the Research Collaborations funded through this call. The RSF will focus on the delivery of centralised AI and advanced data science support; capacity and capability in AI and MLTC-M research; foster a collaborative approach and a culture of shared learning; and provide a leadership role to facilitate impact from the AIM call.

Further information:


MRC – Innovation Scholars:  Data Science Training in Health & Bioscience

Closing Date: 30th September 2020

Value: £5m available for 5-10 awards

Summary: Funding is available for up to two years to enable the delivery of innovative training programmes to upskill health & bioscience researchers in data management and analysis. 

Training programmes should provide flexible upskilling from different starting levels and career stages or enable researchers to develop skills in new or emerging areas of importance where training provision is currently limited. Applications should result in training opportunities in data science to upskill health & bioscience researchers, relevant to one or more of the following themes:

  • Data stewardship, management & sharing  
  • Manipulation & analysis of complex large-scale data 
  • Data modelling skills & training in data exploration/ interpretation/ calibration/ validation  
  • Integration of different types of data, such as imaging and genomics 
  • Improving software, computing, infrastructure, architecture & data engineering knowledge contextualised for data-intensive biosciences
  • Statistics or mathematics skills contextualised for data-intensive biosciences 

Pertinent data and technical challenge areas include (but are not limited to) genomics & gene expression, proteomics & metabolomics, image analysis & phenotyping, digital health data (including new and emerging forms of data), AI & machine learning, data visualisation, modelling, and reproducibility/ good research practice (e.g. experimental design, workflows, fostering FAIR data principles) within data-intensive science, the secondary analysis of administrative, cohort and panel studies.

Learn More


Innovate UK – Smart Grants:  August 2020

Closing Date: 25th November 2020

Value: Projects 6-8 months – total eligible projects cost between £25k and £500k,  Projects 19 – 36 months - £25k and £2m (must be collaborative).

Summary:  Open Grant Fund - Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused. Proposals must demonstrate;

  • a clear game-changing, innovative and/or disruptive and ambitious idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a clear, evidence based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays, etc) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each risk
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines that represent good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions

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SBRI – Delivering safer and better care for people in Scotland with diabetes, Phase 1

Closing Date: 23rd September 2020 11am

Value: Up to £15k inc VAT

Summary: This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by NHS Scotland. Successful applicants receive 100% funding and access to advice from NHS Highland, NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

  • NHS Scotland is investing up to £300,000 including VAT, in innovative solutions in 3 challenge areas as follows:
  • Challenge A
  • Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help develop prediction algorithms and risk stratification for diabetes foot ulceration, amputations and mortality.
  • Challenge B
  • Improving the clinical care of patients with a pre-existing diagnosis of diabetes when admitted to hospital by developing a real-time decision support tool and alert mechanism. The tool must improve triage, prevent medication errors, identify emergencies and streamline the diabetes care pathway.
  • Challenge C
  • Improving the identification (case finding) of people at risk of osteoporosis and fracture, including those with diabetes.
  • You need to submit a separate application for each challenge you wish to apply for.

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