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Health and Life Sciences Funding Round-Up

Posted on 04/06/2019

Find out about the latest funding calls which are relevant to the Health and Life Sciences sector. Last updated 14th June.

To make it easier to navigate the funding landscape KTN have pulled together the latest open relevant funding calls for the health sector into one place.  Find out more details about each below; if you wish to find out more about further funding opportunities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Health team.


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Closing date for current round: 24.07.19 – further calls are open for all of 2019

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) links your organisation with one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases (a university or research organisation) to power strategic innovation projects, embed expertise and drive commercial growth. needed to develop it, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership may be the answer. It creates a dynamic three-way collaboration – between a business or not for profit organisation, a UK university or research organisation, and a suitably qualified graduate – to help realise a strategic innovation project, bring about transformative change and embed new capability.

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Big Beat Challenge

Applications close: 14th June 2019

The future of heart and circulatory disease research could be in your hands with a single funding award of £30 million to bring one big, bold, boundless idea to fruition. The Big Beat Challenge represents one of the largest and most ambitious awards of its kind. The window to submit outline applications is now open, and the British Heart Foundation is calling for the brightest and most innovative minds from across science, technology, engineering and maths to come together and apply.

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SBRI Healthcare Open Competition 16: Cardiovascular Disease & Integrated Care and Social Care 

Competition Opens: 24.06.19; Deadline: 14.08.19

It will cover Cardiovascular Disease, including the sub-themes of detection and prevention, intervention and invasive interventions, as well as efficacy of the CVD Pathway. The competition will also cover Integrated Care and Social Care, including the following sub-themes: improving effective data sharing across the care network; and reducing social care workforce pressure.

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Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Digital Innovation Hub Programme: Hub Call

Closing date: 2 July 2019 at 17:00

The Government has committed £37.5 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) Programme that will be delivered by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). This call is a request for proposals to develop a Digital Innovation Hub. Each Hub will be a centre of excellence that will curate health data at scale and provide UK-wide expert research data services.

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SME support to evaluate innovative medical technologies: Round 4

Competition opens: 23.04.19; Competition Closes: 03.07.19

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) will work with Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £1.5 million in innovation projects. These will support developers of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital technology to evaluate their product in a real world clinical setting.

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RSC Emerging Technologies Competition

Competition closes: 05.07.19.

The Emerging Technologies Competition is the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual initiative for early stage companies and academic entrepreneurs who want to commercialise their technologies to make a global impact.

The competition welcomes applicants from UK and Europe whose tech have a strong component of chemistry and falls in one of the following categories: Health; Energy & environment; Food & drink; and Enabling technologies.

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CARB-X Funding

Funding Round 2: Vaccines and Biotherapeutics – 03.06.19 through 15.07.19

Funding Round 3: Diagnostics – 12.08.19 through 19.08.19

Funding Round 4: Direct Acting Small Molecules – 12.11.19 through 19.11.19

CARB-X welcomes applications from around the world for funding and support for the early development of antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines and other products to combat the most serious drug-resistant bacteria. The scope of CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the ‘Antibiotic Resistant Threats in the United States’ report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013 or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017.

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Using data and digital technology to deliver better adult social care: SBRI competition

Registration closes: 17.07.19 at 12:00pm

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with funding provided by the GovTech Catalyst for Torfaen County borough council. The aim of the competition is to develop data and digital technology to deliver better adult social care.

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Artificial intelligence-supported early fracture diagnosis: SBRI competition

Competition opens: 20.05.19. Registration closes: 24.07.19 at 12:00pm.

Organisations can apply for a share of £240,000, including VAT, to develop an innovative AI solution for radiological diagnosis of fractures of upper and/or lower limbs. This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Opportunity North East and NHS Scotland. The aim is to improve front-line clinical decision making and patient management in unscheduled care facilities. The solution will improve clinical workflow and safety by optimising clinical decision making and management pathways. It must use artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning algorithms to interpret data from upper limb (wrist or hand) and lower limb (ankle or foot) radiographs and linked text-based reports. Accurate determination of the presence or absence of a fracture in these areas has the potential to significantly improve patient care. There is a briefing event for potential applicants to find out more information, on 27 June 2019.

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Innovate UK Smart Grants

Competition Closes: 24.07.19

Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme. Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in the best game-changing or disruptive ideas with a view to commercialisation. All proposals must be business focused, rather than pure research. Applications can come from any area of technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries), science or engineering and be applied to any part of the economy.

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Cancer Research UK looking for innovative high-risk ideas from any discipline

Deadline: 03.09.19

Do you have a high-risk idea with the potential to be revolutionary to cancer patients? Cancer Research UK’s Pioneer Award offers up to £200,000 over two years to answer a novel, early-stage question. Open to individuals and teams from any career stage or background, it welcomes applications all year round and entails a very quick process starting with just a two-page proposal.

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Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative

Closing date: 12.09.19 at 16.00

The three Canadian federal research agencies and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are pleased to announce their intention to launch the Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative. This is a unique collaboration which will require each project to include a principal investigator (PI) based in Canada and a PI based in the UK who will share equally leadership and project management responsibilities. In addition to promoting interdisciplinary AI, this call will support the development of responsible AI while establishing new partnerships and enhancing infrastructure and training between researchers in Canada and the UK.

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Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge

Applications close: 13.09.19.

The Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge is a worldwide renowned science & technology startup competition designed specifically to address the needs of deep tech entrepreneurs across several different industries and technologies. The 14 categories include: Aeronautics; Advanced Computing & AI; Cybersecurity& Communication; Digital Health & Medical Devices; Drug Discovery; Energy; Environment; Food & Agriculture; Industrial Biotech; Industry 4.0; Medical Biotech;  Mobility; New Space; and Smart City.

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Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards

Closing date: 19.09.19.

EuropaBio invites biotech start-ups and SMEs across Europe to apply for the 10th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. SMEs can apply in three categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotechnology. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a Jury of biotech and SME experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event held in Brussels on the 6th November. Each winner will also receive €10,000 prize money and two years free EuropaBio membership (runners-up also receive the latter), in addition to European-level exposure and visibility as well as press coverage.

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MRC/AstraZeneca Centre for Lead Discovery

Opens: 01.08.19. Closing date: 02.10.19 at 16:00 GMT+1.

Aiming to support academic researchers in discovering potential starting points for small molecule therapeutic approaches with a clear line-of-sight to therapeutic use. Academic researchers will benefit from unprecedented access to over two million molecules in AstraZeneca’s compound library, as well as its state-of-the-art high throughput screening (HTS) facilities. Following completion of the HTS campaign, sufficient ‘hit’ data should be available to enable applicants to seek follow-on funding internally through confidence in concept or through the MRC’s Development Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

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Funding for Medical Technology Trials in Leicester and Leicestershire

Funds available until December 2021.

Med-Tech Trial grants of up to £50,000 are available for eligible life science companies in Leicester and Leicestershire, to test and evaluate their products and services in a clinical setting. This ensures that they are working as intended, are effective and are safe for use. The gathering of this evidence is vital for companies wanting to sell their products and services to the healthcare market – including the NHS.

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STFC Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a multidisciplinary research organisation that funds and operates a number of large science facilities offering research and development access to commercial users. Through these facilities, and their expert staff, they can provide access to advanced experimental and computational tools to address challenges in all aspects of the chemicals supply chain. Their £8 million Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme is specifically designed to help companies overcome difficult product, manufacturing or process performance issues by providing access to advanced analytical technologies, supporting expertise and capabilities through STFC’s large scale science facilities located around the UK. The program runs until April 2021.

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Healthcare Technologies: Call for Investigator-led Research Projects

The EPSRC Healthcare Technologies theme has prioritised funding to support novel investigator-led projects. They would particularly like to encourage research projects which address the priorities of “Transform community health and care” and “Improve prevention and public health”. This funding is currently paused (as of May 2019), but you can sign up to their newsletter to be informed when it reopens.

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Creative England Investments

Creative England is supporting SMEs by providing competitive loans to digital businesses in order to make their growth plans a reality. The investments on offer are intended to fuel this fast-growing sector by financing business expansion and new products, leading to the creation of new high-quality jobs and Intellectual Property (IP). Loans from £50,000 – £250,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from 3-36 months. Interest rates range from 5% – 10%, depending on the risk profile of the applicant. This includes companies from within the digital healthcare sector.

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BactiVac Network – Catalyst Training Awards

An open call for BactiVac catalyst funding training awards is now OPEN.  Funding is available to support training opportunities and exchanges, prioritising those involving LMIC members and academic/industrial partners, for the transfer of knowledge and skills in bacterial vaccinology. Up to £6,000 per award is available and each training visit is expected to be up to three months in duration. The aim of this funding scheme is to support members to train in vaccine research & development (R&D), targeting the main preclinical to clinical area of focus for BactiVac. The call for applications is an open call, you can apply at any time.

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Horizon 2020 Calls

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s €77 billion research and innovation funding scheme running from 2014 to 2020. The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a document providing an overview of the UK’s relationship with Horizon 2020. This is followed by a Q&A, which clarifies the UK’s eligibility to participate in Horizon 2020. Current calls of particular relevance to Health include:

SmartEEs (SMART Emerging Electronics Servicing DIH) – SmartEEs is looking for innovative companies (start-ups, SMEs or a mid-cap businesses) that are interested in integrating flexible electronics technologies to diversify their activity and develop new products or services. Share of up to €165k available. Deadline: 20.09.19.


NIHR i4i Connect

Competition opens: 14.08.19; Competition Closes: 11.09.19

i4i Connect is aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development pathway. Its primary aim is to help SMEs get to a point where they can apply for further funding, in particular for a full i4i Product Development Award (PDA), or to support projects at any stage of the translational research and development pathway to further de-risk them for follow on investment.

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