Evaluating medical innovations: apply for funding

An image of an anesthetist at an operating table.

The competition aims to provide evidence to support SMEs developing medical technologies and solutions to be commissioned by the NHS.

Life sciences is one of the defining industries of the UK, with over 5,000 companies and 250,000 employees, and a turnover of £70.3 billion. It is also a sector that fosters growth, with more than 95% of life sciences businesses being micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

However, a 2016 Accelerated Access Review revealed that life sciences SMEs often face obstacles in presenting real-world evidence – within an NHS setting – to support their efforts to get their innovations commissioned within the NHS to help patients.

Up to £1.5 million is available in a competition through Innovate UK and the Office for Life Sciences to support evaluating cutting-edge devices, diagnostics and digital technologies in a real-world clinical setting.

Performance and effectiveness

The competition will support SMEs to develop an evidence base for how their products and services perform in NHS settings. SMEs can choose between 1 of 2 options for projects:

  • support collecting clinical performance and cost effectiveness. Total project costs can be up to £250,000
  • support to develop detailed and feasible plans for the collection of data, with total eligible project costs up to £50,000

Projects must:

  • have a product that aligns with at least one NHS priority healthcare area, as detailed in the NHS Long Term Plan
  • have a product currently available for the NHS to purchase but has been marketed in the UK for less than 5 years

In the competition priority will be given to projects related to:

  • ageing well
  • cancer
  • digital transformation
  • learning disabilities and autism
  • mental health
  • personalised care
  • prevention

Competition information

  • the competition will open on 22 April 2019, and close at midday on 3 July 2019
  • to lead the project, you must be a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise based in the UK
  • up to £250,000 including VAT is available
  • projects must start by 12 December 2019, and be completed by the end of December 2020

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