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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 16th August.

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: 02.10.19

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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CARB-X Funding

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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Impact of Vaccines on Antimicrobial Resistance

Expression of Interest Deadline: 06.09.19 at 17.00

This scheme supports researchers investigating the impact of vaccines on antibiotic use and/or antimicrobial resistance. The aim is to support and inform vaccine decision-makers around the world and tackle antimicrobial resistance.

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EUREKA: Singapore open competition

Registration closes: 19.09.19

EUREKA, in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, announce a Global Stars funding competition for research and development (R&D) projects under the EUREKA programme. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing £1 million to fund UK businesses leading collaborative research and development (R&D) projects. Projects should result in a new product, industrial process or service, be innovative and involve a technological risk.

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Enabling integrated diagnostics for early detection

Competition closes: 25.09.19

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) has a programme in data to early diagnosis and precision medicine. The programme is led by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC), part of UK Research and Innovation. Innovate UK will invest up to £17 million in the research, development and evaluation of integrated diagnostic solutions. An additional investment of up to £3 million is available for oncology-focused projects from Cancer Research UK.

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Innovate UK Smart Grants

Competition Closes: 16.10.19 (next round opens immediately after)

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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Innovate UK Innovation Loans

Competition closes: 11th September 2019

Innovate UK is offering up to £10 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Projects should aim to develop new products, processes or services (or innovative use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar in the field.

Click here for more details.


Mechanising and improving advanced therapy manufacture

Competition opens: 27.08.19; Competition closes: 25.09.19 at 12:00pm

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £3.7 million in innovation projects. These will be to allow robust process design for the manufacture of advanced therapies. The aim of this competition is to encourage inventors of advanced therapies to introduce affordable technology during early innovation stages. This technology will enable them to reproduce the manufacture of their product at a commercial scale.

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ISCF Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator: round 1

Registration closes: 30.10.19

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.

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Analysis for Innovators Round 5 (A4I)

UK businesses of any size can get access to cutting-edge R&D expertise and facilities. After four successful rounds, which between them have supported over 400 companies, Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 5 (Phase 1) is open from 29th July.

KTN ran a competition briefing event in London on 31st July: watch the webcast recording.

This competition is divided into two sections: de minimis funding with up to £1m in total for projects with costs of £25k-£50k and duration of less than 3 months (click here for details), and a larger competition with up to £3m in total for projects with costs of £25k-£300k and duration 3-12 months (click here for details).


SBRI: Project ‘PAIN’ – Supporting people living with persistent pain

Deadline for tender submission: 16.08.19

This Phase 1 SBRI programme is run by the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland. Organisations can apply for a share of up to £150,000 to provide a digital platform to support people living with persistent pain and aid self- management by providing information, tools and interventions, to connect service users and providers, to become a data source on the profile of patients living with persistent pain in Northern Ireland and to provide opportunities for further research and service development to improve services for patients with persistent pain.

Read more and apply


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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Collaborate to Innovate Round 2: Advanced Therapies

Competition closes: 23.09.19

Advanced Therapies, defined as gene and cell based treatments, are a fast growing area of research and innovation in life sciences, with the potential to provide a step-change in the treatment of many diseases. London Advanced Therapies has launched a second call of the Collaborate to Innovate fund, which offers a focused and intensive end-to-end solution for SMEs working in advanced therapies with specific R&D needs. Funded by the Research England Connecting Capabilities Fund and match-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF),  the scheme helps define those needs, then matches them to expertise in Higher Education Institutes and delivers research collaborations with the aim of leading to innovative advanced therapies products.

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MRC/AstraZeneca Centre for Lead Discovery

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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UK Research and Innovation Strength in Places Fund: Wave 2 EoI

Competition closes: 09.10.19 at 12:00pm.

Consortia of UK businesses and research organisations can apply for ‘seed corn’ funding of up to £50,000 to develop full applications for wave 2 of the UKRI Strength in Places Fund. Projects must focus on any one technological area, sector or discipline. At full stage your proposal can draw on a mix of capital and revenue funding appropriate to the activities proposed. Your project proposal should take a place-based approach to research and innovation funding.

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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.

  • DT-ICT-12-2020: AI for the smart hospital of the future. Competition opens 19 November 2019 and closes 22 April 2020.
  • SC1-DTH-02-2020: Personalised early risk prediction, prevention and intervention based on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies. Competition opens 19 November 2019 and closes 22 April 2020.
  • SC1-DTH-04-2020: International cooperation in smart living environments for ageing people. Competition opens 19 November 2019 and closes 22 April 2020.
  • DT-TDS-04-2020: AI for Genomics and Personalised Medicine. Competition opens 19 November 2019 and closes 22 April 2020.
  • DT-TDS-05-2020: AI for Health Imaging. Competition opened 9 July 2019 and closes 13 November 2020.


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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