Innovate UK: Health and life sciences

Information about Innovate UK’s health and life sciences programme for businesses that want to seek funding or find connections.

Our growing, ageing population and the burden of diseases are among our greatest societal challenges. We need new approaches to healthcare, food production and quality. Innovate UK supports business in finding solutions to these challenges.

Innovation in health and life sciences is enabled by new technologies from bioscience and medical research, and by expertise in engineering and physical sciences. Many see the 21st century as ‘the age of biology’. New developments in how we understand and work with biological systems will open up important opportunities.

Innovate UK: Opportunities in health and lifesciences

The agriculture, food and healthcare industries represent a global spend of over £20 trillion. But private investment in UK healthcare firms is often slow. Our aim is to bring together technology developers and those redesigning the way therapies and other treatment options are selected and delivered. This will help businesses to develop market leading solutions.

We also aim to help the agri-food sector in the UK transform from low-tech to high-tech. This will help improve productivity on farms, attract investment and develop global market opportunities.

Our priority areas are:

  • precision medicine
  • advanced therapies - cell, gene and others
  • preclinical technologies
  • improving agriculture productivity
  • pathogens
  • enhanced food quality
  • biosciences

Catapults and centres for agricultural innovation

We have built up a network of Catapults. These are technology and innovation centres that bridge the gap between universities and businesses.

Catapults help businesses undertake late-stage R&D and commercialise traditional academic research. The Catapults in this sector include the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, the Precision Medicine Catapult, the Medicines Discovery Catapult and CPI Biologics.

As part of the government’s agri-tech strategy, Innovate UK is co-funding 4 innovation centres:

European programmes

We also help UK organisations take part in European research, development and innovation programmes. These include Horizon 2020.

Our work in health and life sciences

This section provides information on the sorts of projects that Innovate UK supports as part of its health and life sciences programme.

Success stories

Find out about some of the successful business projects funded by our health and life sciences programme.

Spin-out sets the pace with real-time, running style retraining

Spin-out sets the pace with real-time, running style retraining


Read some of our blog posts on health and life sciences to get inspiration and information.

Published 7 April 2016
Last updated 7 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated latest funding competitions.

  2. Updated latest competitions.

  3. Updated latest competitions.

  4. Updated competitions, our work and success stories collections.

  5. Updated latest competitions.

  6. Updated competitions.

  7. Updated 'funding competitions'.

  8. Updated 'funding competitions'.

  9. Updated 'funding competitions'.

  10. Updated note on delivery plan publication.

  11. Updated 'funding competitions'.

  12. Updated 'funding competitions'.

  13. Added "funding competitions" section

  14. Linked directly to all blogs on Health and life sciences.

  15. First published.