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COVID-19 response

The Digital Health & Care Institute is collaborating with a number of stakeholders in response to COVID-19.

If you have a digital product, service or innovation that may be of use in the response to COVID-19 please contact Scottish Government.  

Current funding opportunities

Learn more about the funding available during the COVID-19 outbreak.

LifeArc - Research Fund – COVID-19

Closing Date:  06 April – decision made:  27 April with funding released very quickly afterwards

Value:  £10m funding available

  • Eligibility: Applications from academics, NHS employees, or companies from any geographical location are welcomed.
  • Grants will be awarded rapidly under standard, non-negotiable terms. LifeArc will not seek any financial return on these grants. It will not take any equity stakes or other revenue return. It is expected that those receiving funding will respect the spirit of the award and where relevant prioritise COVID-19 patients’ access over any potential for profit.

Summary: LifeArc has made available an initial £10M for the identification of therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed to treat COVID-19. The aim is to run trials in patients during the current epidemic. It is anticipated that applications will be for funding to repurpose one or more drugs that are generic, already licensed, or are in late stage development for another indication.

Learn more

IMI2-2020-21-01 development of therapeutics and diagnostics combating coronavirus infections

Closing date:  31 March 2020

  • development of therapeutics to address a rapid response towards the current COVID-19 outbreak;
  • development of therapeutics to address the current and future coronavirus outbreaks;
  • development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies;
  • development of fast and reliable detection of novel coronavirus (nCoV) carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of nCov infection.
  • Project results must be made available within 30 days after it has been generated.
  • Proposals may take the form of research and innovation actions, which require participation by at least three legal entities, each established in a different EU member state or associated country. Participating legal entities established in a third country may receive funding provided their participation is essentaial for carrying out the action. Applicants are expected to collaborate with any relevant project or initiative targeting the current COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The total budget is worth €45 million.

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TechForce 19

Closing date:  31 March 2020

NHSX is calling on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution.

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Call for ventilator Manufacturers

UK Government is requesting that any company that believes that they can support ventilator production to contact on 0300 456 3565 or email us.

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

Will not be runnina as a traditional funding call, email the address below for further information on applying.

Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Master Card Impact Fund

Will co-ordinate research efforts and remove barriers to drug development in relation to COVID-19, working closely with WHO, and governments, private sector and global regulatory and policy setting institutes.

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Charitable COVID Responses

Martin Lewis (The Money Saving Expert) – grants of between £5k and £20k – to help charities across the UK  to relieve poverty – i.e. food banks, community aid, financial advice etc.

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Social Investment Business – Support for businesses 

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NIHR - Travel and subsistence funding to support LMIC engagement during the COVID-19 outbreak

Closing Date:  December 2020

The awards will provide travel and subsistence funding to appropriately qualified public health professionals, clinicians and academics who wish to offer science and technical advice to support the immediate response to COVID-19 in low and middle-income countries.

The awards are open to applicants who have a substantive position at a UK higher education institution or research organisation.

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The Rapid Research in COVID-19 Programme (RARC-19 Programme)

Closing Date: Wednesday 8 April 2020

The Scottish Government is making funding available for research aimed at tackling the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.

The Chief Scientist Office (CSO) will manage this resource to fund studies that allow fundamental science being conducted in Scottish Academic Institutions to be applied to issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will draw on the very best science and methodologies in Scotland to address specific issues, with the expectation that studies can start immediately on award of funding and will be completed within 3 – 6 months. CSO can work with successful applicants to help expedite the necessary research governance reviews and to approve fast track ethical opinion to ensure rapid study start-up. Studies will address specific hypotheses through a range of research approaches, including experimental medicine, data science or social science. The outputs from this research will provide timely evidence to inform clinical practice and policy, relevant to the current pandemic.

Where support of the NHS for use of resources is required then evidence of the support of the local nodal Health Board, or special Boards (as appropriate) must be provided.

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Headstart Funding for COVID-19 Solutions

Headstart provides companies that are chosen for the programme up to €50,000 to support the development of innovative healthcare products and services.

This year, Headstart is supplemented by a special programme focused on COVID-19 solutions.

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UKRI open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19

We are inviting proposals for projects of up to 18 months to address the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

UKRI will support excellent proposals which meet at least one of the following:

  • New research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  • Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
  • Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use

There is no closing date – proposals can be submitted at any time.

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Business-led innovation in response to global disruption (de minimis)

We are interested in solutions, which tackle the new or emerging societal or industry needs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including but not exclusively:

  • community support services
  • couriers and delivery (rural and/or city based)
  • education and culture
  • entertainment (live entertainment, music, etc.)
  • financial services
  • food manufacture and processing
  • healthcare
  • hospitality
  • personal protection equipment
  • remote working
  • retail
  • social care
  • sport and recreation
  • transport
  • wellbeing

We are also interested in projects which are both in scope and aligned to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) challenges.

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets and applications.

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Supporting the NHS response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Never has there been a more urgent time to accelerate new ideas and innovations. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to an unprecedented change in the NHS, and a new fund from Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) will harness the knowledge and expertise of health and social care professionals across Scotland to develop innovative solutions in response to the crisis.

The package of support for NHS Scotland staff includes up to £25k of initial seed funding, combined with regulatory support, project management and the extensive innovation expertise of SHIL, who have worked in partnership with NHS Scotland since 2002.

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Research to Support COVID-19 Response in Humanitarian Settings

Elrha is launching an urgent funding call for research proposals to support the COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings.

The call aims to fund public health research that will produce robust findings that will contribute to the effectiveness of the current humanitarian response and increase the evidence base for future responses to similar infectious disease outbreaks.

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Offer Your Support

UK Government – Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business

Use this service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.  The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

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Scottish Government

Please email us any offers of support from business/industry.

Scottish Government – Volunteering throughout COVID-19 - Ready Scotland -

You can only volunteer to carry out tasks which involve leaving your home, if you are not required to be isolating and are not in any risk categories.  Please check the latest advice at NHS Inform.

To sign up, please follow the relevant links below: 

Tech4CV19 – Slack Platform

A Slack platform which is being used to set up lists of firms which we will be pushed by Department of Trade and Industry on to Government (DHSC, Cabinet Office, NHSE, NHSx), It's completely open and anyone with an offer or a need are invited.  


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AVIA Connector Platform

NHS Wales

If you are able to help support NHS Wales with these priority areas or if have another innovative solution you would like to pitch, please contact us and they will get back to you.


  • Medical Devices 
  • Infection Control
  • Digital Solutions
  • Social Isolation

Observatory for public Sector Innovation - Call for Innovative Government Solutions to COVID-19

The Open and Innovative Government Division (OIG), in which the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation sits, is issuing a call-out to all levels of government, civil society, international organisations and the private sector to gather innovative, digital and open government solutions and inspiration on how individuals and organisations across the globe are responding to the crisis.


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Call for COVID-19 rapid response data science taskforce

DECOVID is an emerging collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute, HDR UK and founding Trusts and academic partners. This partnership draws on and shares technical support by making use of PIONEER, the HDR UK Health data research Hub, and we now wish to draw upon the broad network of researchers within the Turing community, to seed clinical and operational teams to support Trusts.


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