Funding opportunities for innovators

External funding and investment can be the key to developing your innovation and supporting implementation in the NHS.

The AHSN Network is constantly horizon scanning to identify sources of funding and we have provided some information on relevant opportunities below.

Innovators are invited to explore and apply for funding directly via the organisations listed.

This page is updated regularly, so please check back for new opportunities.

Featured funding opportunities

SBRI Healthcare Competition 16

Deadline: 14 August 2019

A new national Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare competition is being launched by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to find innovative new products and services. The projects will be selected primarily on their potential value to the health service and on the improved outcomes delivered for patients. The competitions are Cardiovascular Disease and Integrated Care and Social Care.

Second RYSE Asset Management Digital Health Call

In partnership with DigitalHealth.London and MedCity

Deadline: 30 August 2019

The second RYSE Asset Management LLP (“RYSE”) Digital Health Call invites applications from early stage companies that are seeking funding to grow their businesses. RYSE aims to close the call at 250 high calibre companies developing digital solutions that are innovative services or products whilst addressing identified health and care needs. Seed, up to and including series A stage, digital health companies seeking funding (typically looking to raise between £250,000 and £5,000,000) are invited to apply.

The Call opened on 27 June 2019 and closes at 23:59 on 30 August 2019 – due to overwhelming demand and feedback around the Call coinciding with holidays for many companies, the decision was taken to extend the original deadline by 4 weeks. More.

I4I Connect

Deadline: 11 September 2019
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. Offering between £50,000-£150,000 over a 6-12 month period, 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. More.

UK Research and Innovation

Strength in places fund: wave 2 EoI

Deadline: 9 October 2019
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. Successful full stage applications could win funding of between £10 million and £50 million. More.

More funding opportunities

Collaborate to Innovate Round 2: Advanced Therapies

Deadline:  23 September 2019
London Advanced Therapies have opened another call for a round of the Collaborate to Innovate programme focussed on advanced therapies to fund collaborative projects between SMEs and academic research groups. The initiative will provide financial support of up to £150,000 for projects where SMEs in the area of advanced therapies are looking to progress their development by working directly with researchers. More information available here.

Manufacturing made smarter: round 1 (fast start).

Deadline: 28 August 2019
Up to £30 million is available for projects to transform the productivity and agility of UK manufacturing. Projects must have the potential for rapid impact. For more information click here.

Analysis for innovators round 5: phase 1 expression of interest

Deadline:  4 September 2019
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1million (de minimus) and up to £3 million in two competitions to address measurement and analysis problems with one or more analysis partner organisations. More here and  here

EUREKA Eurostars 2: round 12

Deadline: 12 September 2019
UK SMEs can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to collaborate in research with partners across Europe and associated countries. More.

Innovation loans: July 2019 open competition

Deadline: 18 September 2019
Loans for game-changing innovations with strong commercial potential that will significantly improve the UK economy. More

Enabling integrated diagnostics for early detection

Deadline: 23 September 2019 
Up to £20 million is available for multidisciplinary consortia to develop and evaluate integrated diagnostic solutions for early detection and diagnosis. This includes funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. More.

EUREKA: Singapore open competition

Deadline: 26th September 2019
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million to develop innovative proposals with Singapore and other EUREKA countries. More. 

Smart Grants: July 2019. Deadline: 16 October 2019.
Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy. More

Newton-Ungku Omar Fund Grand Challenge 2019: phase 1. Deadline: 23 October 2019
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million and Malaysian businesses a share of RM 5.5 million to collaborate on innovative solutions to large societal challenges. More.

For more information on all open IUK funding opportunities click here.

Innovate UK, Medical Research Council, and UK Research and Innovation

Open competition: linking technologies to better detect disease

Deadline: midday on 23 September 2019

Businesses and health researchers can apply for up to £20 million to develop new diagnostic tools based on linking technologies, data and systems.

Competition information:

The competition is open
Businesses of any size may apply
Consortia must include at least 1 NHS or academic partner and 1 SME
Projects expected to range in size up to £10 million. More.

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

PoC diagnostic Technologies

Deadline: 26 September 2019 
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is seeking proposals for innovative ‘Point of Care’ (PoC) diagnostics technologies that provide information to enable clinicians to earlier diagnose and ultimately treat individuals exposed to chemical and biological hazards. More.

In this category, DSTL are encouraging the submission of proposals across a wide range of technology areas with the aim of finding new and novel opportunities for these to be exploited across Defence and/or Security. Emerging innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a proof of concept at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4, which in outline means delivering a proof of concept, with component and/or sub-system validation in laboratory-style environment by the end of your proposed work. More.

Open Competition: Rapid Impact Innovations

Proposals in this category are encouraged for projects which have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3-year time frame from the commencement of the project. In this category, there is an expectation that proposals will be funded only if there is a strong customer pull and capability need for the idea. Accordingly, additional effort will be required by suppliers to ensure there is positive user interest in the idea before submitting a proposal. More.

More information on all DSTL – DASA funding opportunities here.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR):

NIHR offers many funding opportunities with an emphasis on research. More.

See Featured funding oportunities above for i4i Connect announcement.

Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Transformative Research Technologies

Deadline: 17 September 2019 
The aim of the call is to support the early-stage development of cutting edge, high-impact transformative research technologies based on new advances in fundamental engineering, physical and life sciences which are essential to sustaining the vibrancy of life sciences discovery research in the UK. These technology developments should offer the potential of a step-change in the state-of-the-art for the given field. More.

More information on BBSRC open funding opportunities here.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Research Grants

Deadline: Open call
If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the EPSRC have their Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development. More.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

EPSRC open funding opportunities here

Medical Research Council (MRC)

South Africa-UK Antibiotic Accelerator Initiative

Deadline: 5 September 2019
The UK MRC and South African MRC (SAMRC) are pleased to invite proposals to the South Africa – UK Antibiotic Accelerator under the umbrella of the Newton Fund. This initiative will provide funding for high quality collaborative research partnerships focused on addressing the growing global burden of antimicrobial resistance, specifically antibacterial resistance in (South) Africa, through drug discovery. More.

For more funding opportunities click here.

Trusts & charities

Health Foundation

The Health Foundation has invested more than £120m over the last 15 years to help improve the quality of care for the public. More about HF funding opportunities.

Wellcome Trust

Innovator Awards

Deadline: None
Up to £500K. These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health. More.

Breast Cancer Now

Breast cancer risk and prevention research grants

A range of Breast Cancer Now funding opportunities. More.

British Heart Foundation (BHF)

Strategic Initiatives

Deadline: Open

BHF will enter into dialogue with major research institutions to identify potential large capital needs for their cardiovascular research strategy. By so doing, BHF hope that they will be able to indicate at an early stage to what extent the BHF may be able to contribute to the overall costs of the strategy, thereby allowing the institution to lever additional funds from other sources. More.

Dunhill Medical Trust

Project Grants for development of care and support services for older people

Deadline: Open.

Dunhill Medical Trust are seeking time-limited projects which focus on the development of care and support services for older people which are innovative and/or based on evidence of best practice and which can become self-sustaining within a planned period. More.

Other Government funding

The British Business Bank

Deadline: Open.

BBB are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they say that they can deliver greater volume and choice of finance. More.


Export Opportunities

Access the Department of International Trade’s Export Opportunities Pipeline here.

Coming soon

The Health Foundation will also be launching its Evidence into Practice Programme in October 2019 .  Their aim with this programme is to support fresh ideas that have the potential to achieve impact and change to improve service delivery, including in non-acute settings. More.

Calling all scientists, academics and entrepreneurs; applications for PanaceaStars Develop open

PanaceaStars invests time, resources and capital to de-risk and fast-track innovator development. Whether they have the seed of a scientific innovation or a well-developed proof-of-concept, PanaceaStars’ multi-phase framework is designed to help translate innovative vision into a thriving business. More.

Looking for healthcare and life sciences UK Government tenders? More.