News story

Digital tech to tackle healthcare challenges: apply for funding

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £9 million to develop more effective and efficient treatments through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

FundamentalVR's Haptic Stylus
The digital health technology catalyst competitions aim to accelerate and scale up the development of new digital health innovations and grow the sector.

There is up to £9 million for businesses with ideas to develop novel digital technology solutions for healthcare challenges.

Funding is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered by Innovate UK.

Accelerating the development of digital innovations

Advancing new and novel digital technologies could significantly improve outcomes for patients, and provide cost benefits for healthcare providers.

The digital health technology catalyst aims to accelerate the development of digital health innovations and grow the sector.

Health-tech firm FundamentalVR has previously received funding through the catalyst. The company is leading a project to develop a VR surgical training platform for students to practice and gain confidence before operating on people.

ISCF Winners. Medicines Manufacturing - FundamentalVR

This competition is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to deliver leading-edge healthcare in the UK. This £181 million fund will transform how we develop and manufacture medicines and other healthcare products, such as digital technologies, to get the right drugs and treatments to patients when they need them.

Improving on the current system

We are looking for projects that span a variety of technologies, markets and healthcare needs and improve on the current health and care system.

There are 2 competitions that businesses can apply into, depending on the stage of their project:

  • up to £1 million for feasibility studies
  • up to £8 million for collaborative research and development

Technologies you could look at include:

  • virtual and augmented reality
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • the Internet of Things
  • data analytics and security

Your idea could be for use in a clinical or non-clinical setting. This could include digital technologies to:

  • support clinical decision-making
  • improve access to healthcare, support treatment compliance or patient-led management
  • improve the patient experience from disease prevention through to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and long-term care
  • overcome privacy challenges with managing, sharing and exploiting data
  • create significant improvements in quality, speed, costs and outcomes

Feasibility studies competition information

  • the competition is open and the deadline for applications is midday on 31 October 2018
  • to lead a project, you’ll need to be a UK-based small or medium-sized business (SME)
  • SMEs can work alone or collaborate with others, including businesses, NHS organisations, universities, research and technology organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • your project can last up to 12 months and have total costs of between £50,000 and £75,000
  • businesses could get up to 70% of their project costs
  • projects must start by 1 April 2019

Collaborative research and development competition information

  • the competition is open and the deadline for applications is midday on 31 October 2018
  • to lead a project, you’ll need to be a UK-based SME
  • you will need to collaborate with others, including businesses, NHS organisations, universities, research and technology organisations, public sector organisations or charities
  • your project can last up to 24 months and have total costs of between £300,000 and £1 million
  • businesses could get up to 70% of their project costs
  • applicants that meet a quality threshold will be invited to interview from 7 to 11 January 2019
  • projects must start by 1 April 2019
Published 1 October 2018