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Multiple funding & business support opportunities for SMEs
& academics in the healthcare sector


The life sciences sector is critical to the UK’s health, wealth, and resilience. It employs over 250,000 people, generates an £80bn turnover annually in the UK and therefore remains a major strategic sector for the UK government and SETsquared universities.

Building on the enormous breadth of health related research expertise at the SETsquared partner universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) and strong links to NHS Trusts and other clinical organisations, we are offering a dedicated package of support for businesses and academics to bid for the current multiple health and care related funding calls from major funders including UKRI, NIHR, Innovate UK and Horizon Europe.

In order to support you to submit the most compelling bid possible with the best chance of success, we can provide the following:

  • if you are a business and don’t already have an academic partner, we can help identify the missing expertise to deliver a successful project by linking you with considerable research expertise of our Partner Universities to form a partnership to collaborate on the bid
  • a wealth of expertise and experience of crafting bids for major funding calls – we can review your bid, identify gaps and make suggestions for improvements – essentially acting as a ‘critical friend’
  • professional bid consultant’s time can be allocated to improve the bid.

If you are considering a bid to any of the upcoming funding calls (listed below) now is the time to apply for this support to boost your chances of success.

Supported funding calls

NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme is a translational research funding scheme aimed at de-risking early-to-late stage medical devices, including high-impact patient-focussed digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use. The i4i has three funding streams: Product Development Awards (PDA), Challenge and Connect.

  • i4i PDA supports the development of new technologies and devices and is aimed at innovations that already demonstrated the proof of concept. Launches October 2021
  • i4i Challenge funding stream aims to help SMEs to develop early-stage technology and to enable them to apply for further translational funding such i4i PDA. Deadline is November 2021
  • i4i Connect supports market-ready innovations by addressing the translational gap between the clinical evaluation of technologies and their adoption by funding the assessment of MedTech innovations in real-world healthcare settings. Deadline is 14 September 2021.
  • i4i Digital Health Technologies for Children and Young People’s Mental Health. This new funding encourages proposals addressing a range of mental health conditions in regions that have been historically under-served by research activity or where there is a high unmet mental health burden.  Deadline is 14 September 2021, award: £50k – £100k

Please apply for support in advance of any deadline.

Apply Now

Healthy Ageing Challenge

The UKRI healthy ageing challenge aims to invest £98m to help businesses to create products and services to help people as they age, and deliver them at scale. The funding streams include:

  • UKRI SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research – to enable businesses with a social purpose to develop and deliver innovative products and services. Costs from £50k to £150k for prototype development and evaluation. Deadline 15 September 2021.
  • SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures feasibility studies– costs up to £50k. Deadline 15 September 2021. 
  • Designed for Ageing – grants of up to £2m for innovative businesses with services and service-led products that address the various challenges of ageing- competition. Launches in September 2021.

If you have an existing project for this competition and require additional support please contact us.

Application form

To apply, you simply need to complete the form below. If your application is successful, you will need to join our Scale-Up Programme (for a nominal charge of £150 inc VAT) which provides a broad range of support to innovative, growing SMEs to raise public and private investment.

Alternatively, if you wish to speak to a member of the team before applying, please contact the Scale-Up team

Membership of the Scale Up programme is open to any company pending internal review of the expression of interest raised by the company and incurs a one off charge of £150 inc. VAT. Full Membership will be offered to companies who are already part of our network and wish to access the CR&D proposal development support or investment raising support services. Full membership is subject to payment by the member company of a one-off fee and Membership is valid for one year. For the year 2020/21 the Membership Fee is £1,600 inc. VAT or for any eligible company, it can be waived under the Article 3.2(4) exemption of the Subsidy Control chapter of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ("TCA"), and which requires eligible companies to complete a Statement of Previous Aid declaration.

The Scale-Up Programme is a partnership between: