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ISCF healthy ageing trailblazers: stage 1

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
23 Sep 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
27 Nov 2019, 12:00
27 Nov 2019, 12:00
Your stage 1 project’s total eligible costs may be up to £100,000, of which up to 70% can be covered depending on business size.
Innovate UK

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £1.5 million in stage 1 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Healthy Ageing Trailblazers.

The aim of the Trailblazers is to encourage businesses and public sector led collaborations, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how products, services and business models which support people as they age will be adopted at scale.

This is stage 1 of a 2-stage competition. You can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to conduct research and develop a business plan. For stage 1 of the competition you can apply as a single applicant. Stage 2 proposals must be collaborative.

In stage 2, the delivery stage, we will invest up to £36 million. This is to develop and implement the products, services or business models, with individual eligible project costs up to £6 million.

Only projects successful in stage 1 will be invited to apply for stage 2.

Your stage 1 project’s total eligible costs may be up to £100,000. Stage 1 projects can be single or collaborative.

Stage 1 projects must start by 1 June 2020 and end by 30 October 2020. They can last up to 5 months.

Stage 2 of this competition is expected to open in Autumn 2020. Stage 2 projects must be collaborative.

Leading a project

To lead a project or work alone at stage 1 your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size (including social enterprises), or a public sector organisation (including local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • intend to apply for the stage 2 of the competition, if invited
  • intend to lead a collaboration for stage 2 of the competition

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project teams at stage 1 and 2

To collaborate and receive the competition funding together with the lead organisation you must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

If successful at stage 2, your collaborative project must commit to provide 50% match funding.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs but they will not count as collaborators.

Multiple applications

Any one UK registered business or public sector organisation can lead on one application and collaborate in a further 2 applications.

If a UK registered business or public sector organisation is not leading an application, they can collaborate in up to 3 applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.


In stage 1, the aim is to develop a business plan and demonstrate readiness in order to obtain funding for your stage 2 Trailblazer project.

The Trailblazers aim to support businesses, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how innovative services, business models and products which support people as they age, will be adopted at scale.

We will fund a portfolio of projects across the 7 themes drawn from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework. This means we expect to fund a spread of projects across multiple areas. We have a particular interest in projects whose principal focus covers one or more of the first 3 of these 7 themes:

  1. Sustaining physical activity
  2. Maintaining health at work
  3. Designing for age-friendly homes
  4. Managing common complaints of ageing
  5. Living well with cognitive impairment
  6. Supporting social connections
  7. Creating healthy and active places

You should propose which themes from the framework will be the focus for your intervention. Successful applicants will be expected to look to exploit synergies across the multiple framework themes.

Although our focus is on the 7 themes, we will consider projects that address healthy ageing challenges outside of these themes.

Your proposed approach as an applicant must:

  1. Incorporate principles of user-centred design. Solution development is expected to involve co-creation through an iterative process that links to a robust plan to achieve the target scale.
  2. Address the tension between innovation and implementation, and the barriers to adoption
  3. Establish an evaluation method specific to the proposed scope which will need to be approved by UK Research and Innovation as part of your stage 2 application
  4. Demonstrate commitment to contribute to a challenge-wide set of knowledge sharing and evaluation activities determined by UK Research and Innovation

Your projects must outline:

  • the intended benefits of the project
  • the populations that will be used to demonstrate those benefits
  • how that population will be accessed.
  • how significant inequalities in health-span will be targeted
  • how to reach both urban and rural populations, if appropriate depending on the target population
  • a clear commitment to achieve the overall 50% match-funding in stage 2
  • a strategy to further exploit healthy ageing related markets on completion of the Trailblazer proposed project

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