Innovate UK will reopen the Biomedical Catalyst on 7th June 2021. UK-registered companies will be able to apply for a share of £18 million to develop their novel healthcare products, technologies and processes.

The Bioindustry Association (BIA) has welcomed the announcement of additional funding. Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive, said:

“The Biomedical Catalyst is a key source of early-stage funding for UK bioscience companies to help them scale scientific ideas into products and therapies for patients. We are delighted that the Government, UKRI and Innovate UK have listened to the life sciences community and see the benefit of pump priming the translation of UK life science innovation into economic benefit for the nation in continuing to support this tried and tested programme.”


The Biomedical Catalyst is a funding programme with three key objectives:

  1. Deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector
  2. Deliver innovative life sciences products and services into healthcare more quickly and effectively
  3. Provide support to academic and commercially led research and development

An Ipsos MORI report concluded that the Biomedical Catalyst has successfully met its objectives. Since its inception in 2012, It has offered strong value for money, increased companies’ R&D investment by 93%, and increased employment by 11 to 15 percent over 3 to 5 years.


This competition combines the early and late-stage strands of the Biomedical Catalyst. The aim of an early-stage award is to create a data package that is sufficient to support the testing of your product or process in a clinical setting or another relevant environment. In contrast, the late-stage award is designed to test a well-developed concept and show its effectiveness in a clinical setting or another relevant environment. It should therefore build on prior credible research on a product prototype or process.

microbiologist working with sample in biomedical laboratory

Projects can focus on any health and care sector or discipline, for example:

  • Medical technologies and devices
  • Stratified healthcare
  • Advanced therapies (gene and cell therapies)
  • Digital health
  • Drug discovery
  • Diagnostics

In particular, Innovate UK will welcome applications that support innovation in the following areas: child health technologies; innovations that support clinical trials in the UK; biomedical innovations that combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.


Firstly, your project must have total eligible costs between £250,000 and £4 million. It should start from 1st April 2022 and last between 12 and 36 months. To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a UK registered SME
  • Carry out its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You can collaborate with the following types of organisation: UK-registered businesses of any size, academic institutions, charities, not-for-profits, public sector organisations, or research technology organisations. However, large companies will not be eligible for grant funding.

This competition closes on 26th August 2021. If you’re looking for bid writing support, please contact us to arrange a free consultation.

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