SMEs and charities urged to bid for £9m digital healthcare fund

Funding has been made available for charities and small businesses as part of a government commitment to help develop cutting edge technologies.

Joe Lepper | 1st Oct 18
Image shows Whitehall street sign.

Small businesses working in collaboration with charities are among those being invited to bid for £9m in research funding to develop digital healthcare innovations.

The money is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which was set up last year by the government to bring together researchers and business and invest £1bn in developing cutting edge technologies over the next four years.

The funding is being provided through UK Research and Innovation, which was established under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 to bring together the UK’s research councils.

Two competitions for funding are open, the first making £1m available for feasibility studies and the second involving £8m for collaborative research and development.

The feasibility funding is for up to 12 months and can pay for up to 70% of the cost of projects that have a total cost of between £50,000 to £75,000.

Opportunities for charity partnerships

Bids are open to small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs), who can work alone or in collaboration with others, including charities, public sector organisations, universities and other businesses.

For the collaborative research and development funding, SMEs have to collaborate with others, with charities also listed as a possible partner.

This funding can last for up to two years and cover up to 70% of the cost of projects that have a total cost of between £300,000 and £1m.

Technologies being funded could include artificial intelligence, virtual or augmented reality or data analytics and security.

These could be within a clinical or non-clinical setting and have specific uses such as improving the speed and costs of treatment, protecting privacy and focusing on the experience of patients.

The deadline for applications for both the feasibility and collaborative research funds is 31 October 2018. More details can be found here. Projects must start by 1 April 2019.