Innovate UK to support the testing of medtech innovations in the NHS

The life sciences sector is one of the most important for the UK economy. It has a £70 billion turnover and employs nearly 235,000 people. However, for as much as the many companies (especially SMEs) that populate this fast-growing sector are contributing to the national economy, the biggest challenge they have to face comes from within the national borders.

Indeed, the lengthy innovation adoption process in the NHS makes it difficult to most of the companies in the sector to provide the real-world evidences to support use of their innovations in the NHS. This is why Innovate UK and the Office for Life Sciences are working in partnership to invest up to £1.5 million in innovation funding for projects that support real-world testing of new medical devices, diagnostics and technologies in the NHS.

Business funding is focussed on small and medium-sized companies that have developed and manufactured innovative health-tech that have gained a CE marking have been marketed it in the UK for less than 5 years. The grant will help those companies either in the development or in the design of plans for collection of data on clinical performance and cost effectiveness or also the actual study.

Successful projects should last between 3 and 12 months and show how they are working with appropriate organisations such as the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. They should aim to have a significant impact and address NHS priorities including:

·         reducing cancellations or unnecessary appointments

·         reducing the burden on accident and emergency

·         improving patient safety

·         speeding up diagnosis

·         enabling earlier diagnosis of cancer

·         supporting management of long-term conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain management, cardiovascular disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The new Innovate UK competition opens on 26 November 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 30 January 2019: applicants have to bear in mind that expected costs for planning and preparation projects shall be up to £50,000 and those for actual studies shall be up to £250,000. In both cases, only the lead SME can claim funding as well as attract up to 50% of their project costs.

Source: innovate UK

Innovate UK to support travellers with disability

The South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran), a regional transport partnership between City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian, has £150,000 to support up to 5 projects that look at developing a mobile app to help travellers with a disability to meet the challenges of using public transport.

Applicants shall identify and understand the challenges faced by travellers with a disability and how it affects the way they travel, to develop a mobile app that:

  • incorporate journey planning and wayfinding features
  • allow designated groups, such as family, emergency services and transport providers, to track the user in case of difficulty
  • allow the user to ask third parties for help
  • include multi-modal transport options
  • have an adaptable user interface, dependent on what the disability is
  • have the potential to be expanded at a later date to benefit people with disabilities not included in the initial launch.
The competition is open to companies of any size and it will start on Monday 12 November 2018. Eligible costs shall average up to £30,000 and should cover up to 6 months of project duration. The deadline for registration is at midday on 2 January 2019.

Source: InnovateUK

Innovate UK launches competition on developing game-changing innovation


Innovate UK has just allocated up to £20 million into a competition that will finance the best new ideas for products and services developed from cutting-edge technologies. The competition is open to all ideas from any area of technology, science or engineering, including arts, design and creative industries, and can be applied in any sector of the economy.

This competition opens on 12 July 2018, as part of Innovate UK’s open funding programme and will support a range of projects from feasibility studies to longer industrial research and experimental development projects. The deadline for applications is at midday on 12 September 2018.

Eligible projects can be led by a business working alone or with partners or by a research and technology organisation and they must demonstrate they have a game-changing idea that could lead to new commercial products, processes or services. All projects must include at least 1 SME, and, in this regard, there is also an opportunity for businesses to apply for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) (more here)

InnovateUK is expecting to provide funding to projects ranging in size between £25,000 and £2 million and it is also expecting successful projects to last between 6 and 36 months. Businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information see the overall description here, and contact us at RedKnight!

Source InnovateUK

£40m available to support development of electric vheicles charging

From July 12, UK business will have the opportunity to secure access up to £40 million to develop and demonstrate new ways of charging electric vehicles. The programme falls in line with the new strategy of the UK government, that aims at having zero emissions by 2050, and this competition is particularly focused on growing the UK's charging infrastructures quickly enough to make electric vehicles an attractive choice.

In order to have access to the grant, eligible consortia (all eligibility criteria available here) will have time until 29 August 2018 to submit their applications, which can be redirected to one of the two competitions which this funding is split in:

  • to support electric vehicle owners who don’t have suitable off-street parking to charge their vehicles in public spaces
  • to investigate wireless charging options for owners of vehicles such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery vans

This first competition is looking for creative new designs and technologies that could offer significant, convenient and low-cost charging facilities to areas where people don’t have off-street parking. Project ideas could range from providing on-street infrastructure to creating a community charging hub. There are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months.

The second competition focuses on new technologies that would allow commercial vehicles - such as taxis, service vehicles and delivery fleets - to top up their batteries during the day without having to stop to plug in. Projects should look at commercially-feasible ideas and business models that would enable wireless charging in places such as stations and airports, or with commercial vehicles at major depots, hubs or delivery bays, so that vehicles to be charged while causing minimum disruption to their business. Just like the previous competition, there are 2 phases: phase 1 will fund a series of feasibility studies which should have costs of between £75,000 and £120,000 and last up to 3 months; the best ideas could go on phase 2 for large-scale demonstration projects in public areas, which should have costs of between £5 million and £10 million and last up to 18 months. Projects must be led by a business working with other businesses, local authorities, research organisations or charities and businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs.

For more information, follow this direct link or contact one of our experts at RedKnight.

Source InnovateUK


InnovateUK lauches new funding initiative in support to diagnostics and tratment of disease

As our H2020 project BreathSpec® is now approaching to its crucial phase (ed. for more info, stay tuned on all our channels), diagnostics is receiving a renewed interest by investors and funding organisations.

There are grant funding and private investment currently available for precision medicine projects that improve how we diagnose, monitor and treat disease and the last – yet not least – of these opportunities has just been announced by InnovateUK, which has up to £6 million available in grants for UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises, with at least the same amount in additional match funding coming from equity partners. As states on the description of the call, the programme will fund projects that focus on at least one of the following:

  • next-generation medical diagnostics, including new molecular and cellular diagnostics, advanced medtech devices, and imaging and clinical pathology technologies
  • wearable or implantable devices such as biosensor tattoos or contact lenses that can inform treatment options for the patient outside of the hospital
  • tailor-made therapies or medicines designed around an individual patient’s molecular diagnosis. This includes gene therapy, regenerative cell therapy, immunotherapy, synthetic biology or combination therapies
  • bioinformatic or artificial intelligence applications that rapidly and accurately extract digital data from medtech devices, imaging systems or clinical pathology platforms

The innovation fund will open the competition on 23 July 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 26 September and the competition will be open to single applicant SMEs with the opportunity to access to match funding; In this regard, InnovateUK provides a list of 13 investor partners providing match funding in this competition (link).

Projects eligible for funding can last up to 24 months and have total costs of between £500,000 and £1.5 million. Successful applicants will be provided with 100% of their project costs. This will be split between Innovate UK and the equity partner, depending on whether it is an industrial research or experimental development project.

Source InnovateUK

£25million to create next-gen UK Connected Autonomous Vehicle services.

If your company is involved in the Autonomous Vehicles business, you definitely cannot miss this opportunity!

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is aiming to invest over £150 million, match-funded by industry over 5 years, to ensure the UK become a leader in the Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) transportation. Thanks to the CCAV funding opportunities, trials in real-world settings are already under way in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes; this year, the CCAV has up to £25 million to invest in up to 4 pilot schemes for self-driving vehicles, each of which must have at least a 6-month trial in a public or semi-controlled setting; a clear commercial focus and the potential to become an enduring service.

Briefing events will be held in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Sunderland a the end of June and beginning of July 2018.

For more information, contact us!

Innovate UK to launch its 7 Wonders of the summer

Talking about summer reminds most of us of sunny beaches and relaxing holidays, but for SMEs this could be also the perfect time to seize new and exciting funding opportunities, as over £80m in funding is made available by Innovate UK to support innovation and growth, and we have divided them in to what we like to call the 7 Wonders of the SMEs' Summer.

Starting with the Open grant funding competition: Round 2 , Innovate UK will make available up to £20 million to the best cutting-edge or disruptive ideas or concepts with a view to commercialisation. The competition will be open from the 12th of July and we do really suggest you to keep an eye on this, as up to 70% funding is available to applications from any area: from technology, science or engineering, to arts, design, media or even creative industries.

More focused schemes are also available to those who have innovative ideas to reduce the waste of plastics or to design and implement smart local energy systems. The Plastic innovation: towards zero waste competitions scheme opened last June 18th, and will make available up to £4million funding to support innovative activities – e.g. developing new polymers, processes, designs, recycling regimes, etc. - that result in less persistent plastic waste in our environment. On the other hand, the Smart local energy systems: concepts and designs is directed to revolutionary concept and design studies for new, smarter approaches to local energy; these approaches must aim to provide cleaner, cheaper energy services for UK consumers in the 2020s while helping make communities more prosperous and resilient. The scheme opened on May 8th and will fund projects between £100,000 and £200,000 for a total worth of £1.5 million.

SMEs operating in the manufacturing area will have also the chance to compete in the Manufacturing readiness and scale up of genomic analysis technologies; a competition which will allocate up to £5 million in projects that aim to increase the UK commercial capacity to manufacture real time or rapid genomic analysis equipment such as high throughput nucleic acid sequencing. The competition is open since 18th June and will remain open until 11th July .

The fourth competition launched, on Monday 4th June, addresses all UK businesses and RTOs who want to implement ground breaking ideas for a Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) testing infrastructure for autonomous parking and autonomous driving on rural roads and highways. The name of the competition is Meridian 3: autonomous highway, rural and parking test facilities and within this programme, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will invest up to £25 million in partnership with Meridian Mobility and Innovate UK, to support up to 6 projects aimed to create the world’s most effective CAV testing ecosystem. otal project costs must be between £1 million and £20 million.

The last two “Wonders” are not specifically industry-related, yet they are a great opportunity for all those companies who work with IT systems, AI and data management. As part of the Next Generation Services Challenge, Innovate UK launched on 18th June an initiative called Transforming accountancy, insurance and legal services with AI and data (small projects strand) to invest up to £12 million in innovation projects to support the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies. Funded projects should be up to £400,000 and should aim to transform, in up to 2 years, fields such as: Accountancy; Insurance and Legal services. Finally, Innovate UK has something in store even for those companies who are working to improve the defence and security of the UK. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation will remain open until March 2019 and it is looking for innovations that address defence or security challenges in two specific strands: Emerging Innovations and Rapid Impact Innovation.