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


The UK’s world-class research and innovation is the foundation of the nation’s health and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and global influence. There is a long and proud tradition of excellence in UK research and innovation. The government wants to capture the power of this extraordinary talent and creativity to secure the UK’s status as a science superpower and innovation nation. As the world emerges from the Covid pandemic, the UK has a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture the full benefits of its research and innovation prowess.

The SETsquared Scale-Up Programme partner universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton, and Surrey) possess a wealth of research excellence in healthcare innovation. This research capability is matched by an extensive health-related industrial expertise contained within the Scale Up-Programme membership. To capitalise on these programme assets, the Scale Up-Programme is launching a Health Innovation Campaign to target new Innovate UK, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funding calls.

We are looking to support the most compelling bids with the best chances of success. We can:

  • help businesses to identify missing research and clinical expertise from our partner universities ecosystems to form a collaboration on the bid
  • offer a wealth of expertise and experience to craft strong bids for major funding calls – we can review your bid, identify gaps and make suggestions for improvements, essentially acting as a ‘critical friend’
  • fund a professional bid consultant’s time to further 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- the development and evaluation of predictive algorithms using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This is the NIHR joint funding call for industry with i4i, EME and HTA for applications seeking to develop, refine, and evaluate predictive algorithms using artificial intelligence (AI) for health and social care.

All health areas and types of technology are eligible under this call. The intervention should have credibility with UK health and social care professionals and may include technologies that enhance accuracy for the detection of disease or predicting individual’s risk and informing clinical or self-management decisions, among others.

The i4i is a dedicated MedTech translational funding scheme to advance innovative medical technologies and interventions for increased patient benefit in areas of existing or emerging clinical need. Projects must have already demonstrated proof of concept as a minimum.

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) programme primarily funds clinical trials and other robustly designed studies that test the efficacy of interventions. Applications are required to demonstrate some initial evidence that the technology may be efficacious in patients but a large-scale study is needed to determine definitive proof of clinical efficacy.

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme supports research that is immediately useful to patients, clinical practice, and policy or decision makers. Studies funded by HTA aim to establish the clinical effectiveness or accuracy and cost-effectiveness of technologies in comparison with the current alternative(s) or within existing pathways. Applications to HTA are required to demonstrate that efficacy has already been established.

Please submit your application for support below.

i4i FAST (Funding At the Speed of Translation) Awards Pilot Scheme

NIHR have launched a new pilot funding stream for projects in any area of a clinical need to answer a specific question, fund a single piece of activity or fill a specific evidence gap across all technology readiness levels. The aim is to allow innovations to be de-risked or further explored to justify further research.

    • the focus is on medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices;
    • £15k to £50k funding;
    • projects between 3 to 6 months;
    • decision to fund within 6 to 8 weeks.

Applications for funding opens on 4 April 2022, so please submit your application for support below.

Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition – Round 3

Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late-stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Projects must lead to new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. They can also involve a new or innovative business model. The SETsquared Scale-Up Programme is only supporting applications that include at least one of our partner universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton or Surrey) in the application.

Applicants can apply for a loan of between £100,000 and £2 million to fund the project’s eligible costs. Projects can last up to 5 years, including both the R&D and commercialisation phases. Projects are expected to start by July 2022.

The funding available will be allocated across a series of competitions with the next round opening on the day the previous round closes. The final round 4 will close on 13 July 2022.

Please submit your application for support as far in advance of the final round deadline in July.

Fast Start: Innovation

Innovate UK is offering small and micro businesses a share of up to £30 million in grants alongside tailored business support delivered by Innovate UK EDGE. Applicants can apply for up to £50,000 for highly innovative ideas that have a clear route to commercialisation through business growth.

Projects must lead to new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

Ideas must focus on either achieving net zero or self-driven healthcare, and how new technology can enable affordable, adoptable and investable innovations in these areas.

Projects must have total costs between £25,000 and £50,000, start by 1 November 2022 and end by 30 April 2023, and last between 3 and 6 months.

Applications for funding close at 11am on 26 July 2022 so please submit your application for support below.

Apply Now

Innovation in Healthcare Expression of Interest

If you wish to apply for funding and support for the R&D opportunities shown above complete the form below. Read a guide on how to make a good application  


To access these services you will need to join the Scale-Up Programme, please visit our members benefits page to see the support available.

Innovation in Healthcare Expression of Interest

    You can choose multiple options.
  • If known
  • We suggest that your summary should cover the market opportunity for the proposed project, your/your collaborators’ approach, what outcomes you anticipate, and project finance. But remember to keep it short & succinct. The purpose of the project summary is to help SETsquared evaluate the project for funding support to further develop the project – it’s unlikely that a project would have the full answers to all of these questions at this stage. (please see project summary guidance) If your project is not fully-formed at the moment, we welcome expressions of interest for future campaigns, just indicate this on the form.

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: