ISCF Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator: round 1
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is inviting UK registered investors to partner with us. Together we will distribute a share of up to £12 million in grants to micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises registered in the UK, alongside private equity capital. Grant funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
The aim of this competition is to encourage early private investment in innovative healthy ageing technologies, including products, services and business models. This is phase 1 of a 2 phase competition. The second phase will be open to SMEs to apply for grant funding and equity investment.
The investor partners we select, will work over a 2 year timeframe after we pay them the grant funding (approximately March 2020 to March 2022) to:
- identify innovative SMEs working in ‘healthy ageing’ technology that are suitable for investment but outside your typical risk preference, which might involve changing your target market
- help those SMEs deliver a healthy ageing project, with 50% of the total eligible project costs grant funded and the remaining 50% from equity investment into the business
Over a further year (approximately March 2022 to March 2023) the investor partners will manage any remaining grant deployment to ongoing projects.
We will only offer grant funding to SMEs with research and development projects we consider to be highly innovative.
This partnership approach aims to improve access to the financial and commercial support SMEs need to develop and market innovations in the healthy ageing market. Investor partners must provide wider business skills, networks and experience as well as capital investment.
In this competition we are looking for investor partners. To join as an investor partner, you must be an equity provider with an established company holding a full UK registration at Companies House. This can include charities and trusts with the power to make investments.
You can apply for a grant allocation of between £1 million and £6 million. In order to balance the portfolio of investor partners and ensure best value for money, our offer might be different from the amount you applied for. Your application should outline the minimum amount of grant you would be prepared to operate with, and the maximum you feel you could effectively allocate.
If you want to apply for more than £6 million please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 days before the competition closes. Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.
You must be able to demonstrate that:
- between 2020 and 2023 you can invest into innovative companies a sum that is at least equal to the grant funding they are applying for
- you can commit to give follow-on funding of at least 3 times the grant allocation amount to successful micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises by 2025
- you have suitable arrangements in place to meet all operational requirements, such as promotion, distributing and managing public money responsibly, reporting on the portfolio performance, allocation of investments, confidentiality and data protection
We are particularly interested in investors who can:
- demonstrate the interest, capability and capacity needed to invest in early-stage companies, including university spin-outs and businesses looking for their first investment opportunities
- demonstrate the ability to add value beyond their investment
- commit to helping the company grow and scale
- show they have access to relevant sector and technology-specific expertise
We will decide which investors to appoint as partners. Our considerations will include (but not be limited to):
- geographic coverage and reach
- financial standing and good character
- track record and/or forward plan
- evidence of how this programme will help you to take a different approach to investing in early stage technology SMEs
Phase 2: SME projects
Once selected, each investor partner will identify suitable UK registered SMEs or social enterprises who wish to carry out an innovative research and development (R&D) project in the healthy ageing market. These can include:
- new deal flow for you
- SMEs already in your portfolio who are looking for further investment and grant funding for a specific project
You will be able to put forward SMEs to apply to an invitation-only competition from March 2020. Projects can last up to 2 years. Projects must end and the full grant allocation must be deployed by March 2023.
Total eligible project costs (including grant and investment) will be finalised in discussion with successful investor applicants. We expect that projects will have total eligible costs of between £100,000 and £1.5 million.
All eligible SME applications will be assessed by expert and independent assessors and Innovate UK will rank them as fundable and non-fundable. This will be independent from any discussions between investor partners and applicants. Only projects assessed as fundable by Innovate UK will be eligible to receive grant funding through you.
Up to £12 million grant funding is available to support up to 50% of the total eligible project costs of UK registered SMEs. To receive grant funding the SME must raise at least the same amount of equity capital from an approved investor partner.
SME projects funded through this programme must address specific themes from the ISCF healthy ageing challenge framework. The challenge has 7 themes. An independent review by the Centre for Ageing Better found these themes offer the best opportunity to solve market failures and encourage innovation.
Your project must focus on one or more of the following:
- sustaining physical activity
- maintaining health at work
- designing for age-friendly homes
- managing common complaints of ageing
- living well with cognitive impairment
- supporting social connections
- creating healthy and active places
Investors can choose to focus their innovations on a number of these themes. For example, innovations could address the combined themes of sustaining physical activity, supporting social connections and creating healthy and active places.