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Funding opportunities

NIHR i4i Connect Call 8 – Collaboration Opportunity

Deadline: 21 February 2024
Funding: Maximum award of £150,000

NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme is a scheme aimed at funding innovators who are developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostic devices and digital health technologies. One of the funding streams within the i4i Programme is the i4i Connect. This two-stage competition typically runs once a year and provides small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in the UK with up to £150,000. The next i4i Connect call is due to launch on 16 January 2024.

The scheme aims to support SMEs for a 6-12 month period as they progress their innovations and apply for further funding, particularly the i4i Product Development Award. The SME’s innovation can be at any stage of development providing there is some proof-of-concept data.

Funding for early stage development of new healthcare interventions

Deadline: 13 March 2024 (4:00pm UK time)
Funding: £50,000 – £300,000

Apply for MRC funding to the Developmental Pathway Gap Fund (DPGF), to generate critical preliminary data to build confidence in the development strategy for a new medicine, repurposed medicine, medical device, diagnostic test, or other medical intervention development. The idea for a new product that can improve human health should have already been conceived and supported by other funding. This should be utilised to produce the critical preliminary data needed to support the onward development of the product. The Gap fund sits beyond the smaller and shorter Impact Accelerator funding and before the substantive and longer Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme.

You can apply for academically led translational projects that aim to undertake a focused package of work that will bridge the gap between inception of a new idea and substantive funding through schemes such as the MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme to:

  • help prevent disease
  • help improve speed and accuracy of diagnosis of disease
  • develop new treatments of disease
  • help to improve outcome monitoring of patients receiving treatment
  • help to improve the management of diseases and conditions

Your project should have already explored a new concept and generated some data in support of the approach. This fund will provide small scale funding to generate critical data needed prior to seeking more substantive funding. A non-exhaustive list of examples of the types of projects that could be supported include:

  • elements of therapeutic discovery, quantification, and validation
  • development of an initial prototype
  • early prototype testing
  • initial biomarker validation
  • vector identification or optimisation
  • hit expansion medicinal chemistry

All human diseases and medical interventions are eligible for support, both in the context of UK healthcare and addressing global health issues. The principal investigator (PI) must be based at the lead organisation, which should be one of the following six types of organisation.

  • Higher education institutions
  • Independent research organisations (IROs) and NHS bodies
  • Public Sector Research Establishments
  • MRC institutes (MRC Harwell, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology)
  • MRC units and partnership Institutes
  • Institutes and units funded by other research councils

This is an ongoing funding opportunity. Application rounds close every March, July and November.

European Innovation Council Accelerator 

Deadline: 13 March 2024 and 3 October 2024
Funding:  Up to € 2.5 million

The EIC Accelerator is a funding programme under Horizon Europe that offers support to start-ups and SMEs that:

  • have a innovative, game changing product, service or business model that could create new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and even worldwide,
  • have the ambition and commitment to scale up,
  • are looking for substantial funding, but the risks involved are too high for private investors alone to invest

Grant funding : Non-dilutive, up to € 2.5 million, for innovation activities only (TRL 5-8), to be completed within 24 months.

  • Grant only – for companies aiming to reach the TRL 8 at the end of the project and continue further development without the EIC support. Applicants from  United Kingdom can apply for the “grant only” scheme. 
  • Grant first – for companies reaching TRL 8 at the end of the project and possibility to apply for dilutive equity to reach TRL 9.

The application process involves 3 steps:

  • Write your short proposal: Proposals can be submitted at any time and should include a 5-page summary, a pitch deck of up to 10 slides, and a video pitch lasting up to 3 minutes.
  • Prepare your full proposal: If your short proposal receives a positive evaluation, you will have up to 12 months to prepare and submit your full proposal by one of the deadlines.
  • Pitch your proposal: If your application meets all criteria, you will be invited to face-to-face interviews with an EIC jury as the final step in the selection process.

Knowledge Asset Grant Fund 

Deadline: 14 March 2023 (11:00am UK time), 06 Jun 2024
Funding: Up to £25,000 per project (Explore Grants), £100,000 per project (Expand Grants) and £250,000 per project (Extend Grants)

The Knowledge Asset Grant Fund (KAGF) is run by the Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) and funded by the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to support the repurposing, commercialisation or expanded use of public sector knowledge assets. These assets may include intellectual property, data, innovation, software and knowhow.  Funding is available in 3 bands – Explore Grants (for projects with costs of up to £25,000), Expand Grants (for projects with costs of between £25,001 and £100,000) and Extend Grants (for projects with costs of between £100,001 and £250,000) with increasing levels of assessment.

UK government public sector organisations with an Accounting Officer responsible for upholding Managing Public Money (MPM). This includes UK central government departments, arm’s-length bodies and public sector research establishments

From 8 June 2023, local government organisations, NHS secondary and tertiary care sectors, publicly owned commercial organisations will not be eligible to apply for grant funding or other services from the Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT).

KAGF runs alternating general and themed calls. During bi-annual themed calls, on-theme applications will be prioritised, however non-themed projects are still welcomed. The upcoming themed call will give priority to proposals that fall under the theme of Artificial Intelligence. Projects in scope comprise both the development of new AI algorithms or software and the application of existing solutions in areas which have not been considered before in the public sector. This could include, but is not limited to, the use and development of AI technologies such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Robotics, Expert Systems, Artificial Creativity.

Projects could include the responsible use of AI such as by getting the most out of text or image data, improving business processes, workflows and decision making. GOTT is also interested in technical AI projects that further develop or use existing knowledge assets that can be applied to provide solutions to new problems. Projects funded should develop the asset’s use beyond ‘business as usual’ purposes and should have the potential for adoption in other areas of government or for commercialisation.

Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND)

Deadline: 19 March 2024 (4:00pm UK time)
Maximum award of £150,000

Apply for funding for the early-stage development of an intervention that seeks to address a UK or global public health challenge. This might include qualitative and quantitative primary research and the development of theory and logic models. However, emphasis should be placed on developing the intervention.

You must be a researcher employed by an eligible research organisation.

MRC will fund up to £150,000, for a maximum of 18 months.

Funds requested by UK research organisations will be funded at 80% of the full economic cost, in which case the full economic cost of your project can be up to £187,500. Overseas costs will be funded at 100% of the full economic cost.

Pre-announcement: UKRI systems approaches to advance the UK’s transition to Net Zero

Deadline: 26 March 2024 (4:00pm UK time)
Funding: £4,625,000

Apply for UKRI funding to establish a flagship transdisciplinary research programme in system approaches to advance the UK’s transition to Net Zero.

This investment will support up to two impact driven research programmes to deliver world leading co-created cross-cutting research into the development and implementation of systems approaches to Net Zero.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £5.78 million. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will fund 80% of the FEC (£4.62 million). The funding duration is for up to 60 months.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding.

NIHR i4i & OLS Real World Evidence Programme

Deadline: 27 March 2024 (1:00pm UK time)
Funding: No upper funding limit

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme, in collaboration with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), invites applications to the NIHR i4i & OLS Real World Evidence Programme. The aim of the call is to support consortia to address real world evidence gaps to accelerate widespread adoption of technologies recommended for early use in the NHS through NICE Early Value Assessment (EVA). Funding will be deployed to generate real world evidence for product(s) to achieve a full NICE evaluation, generate further evidence required by commissioners to increase uptake, and to capture generalisable learnings to support future innovators.

The NIHR i4i & OLS Real World Evidence Programme is a one-stage call inviting applications for projects up to 36 months in duration, with no upper funding limit. The call will be open to consortia consisting of:

  • An analytical partner (lead applicant) – which will lead and coordinate the generation of evidence required (must be a UK legal entity).
  • The technology partner(s) – which will provide the EVA products for which evidence must be generated
  • Adopting site(s) – which will give access to sites, or services, for testing of the products.

This call will be open to organisations which are UK legal entities, including large enterprises, small/medium commercial entities, NHS and social care providers, universities and research institutions, as well as not-for-profit organisations including charities and Community Interest Companies.

Experimental medicine stage one

Deadline : 17 April 2024 (4:00pm UK time)

Total Fund: £10,000,000

Apply for funding to investigate the causes, progression and treatment of human disease.

Your project must:

  • include an experimental intervention or challenge in humans
  • focus on a mechanistic hypothesis
  • be academically-led

Successful projects will produce new mechanistic insights, including those that may:

  • enable the future development of novel therapeutic or diagnostic approaches
  • identify opportunities to modify disease pathways

Applications in all disease areas and interventions are welcomed.

You must be based at an eligible research organisation. Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

There is no limit to the amount of funding you can apply for or the length of your project. We will fund 80% of your project’s full economic cost.

This is an ongoing funding opportunity with an annual budget of £10 million. Application rounds close every April and October

BHF translational awards

Deadline : Preliminary application deadline –  19th June 2024

Total Fund: Up to £750,000

Translational Awards aim to progress the development of novel, innovative technologies towards benefits to human cardiovascular health. The scheme supports the development of technologies with transformative potential from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market.

Proposals are expected to demonstrate a strong intellectual property position and a development proposition that could attract follow-on investment.

  • The project should be novel and inventive and address an unmet clinical need within the BHF remit.
  • The project should result in a product, technology or intervention that is ready for market development.
  • The project should be milestone-driven and have a credible delivery plan.

Who can apply?

  • The principal investigator will be a researcher working in an established research institution in the UK.
  • Individuals or teams from commercial organisations can apply as collaborators.

Tackling obesity

Deadline: Open – no closing date

Funding: Not specified

Apply for funding to develop effective strategies to tackle overweight and obesity. ‘Tackling obesity’ is open to applications submitted to the Population and Systems Medicine Board.

Before applying for funding, check the following:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service from 22 May 2023. For full details, see eligibility as an individual. There is no limit to the funding you can apply for, but it should be appropriate to the research project. We will usually fund up to 80% of your project’s full economic cost. This is an ongoing funding priority for the Population and Systems Medicine Board. Application rounds close every January, May and September.

Research remit: MRC is seeking multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary applications to tackle overweight and obesity. The research should support evidence-based approaches to improve health in real-life settings. In particular,  to better understand what makes an effective intervention. We aim to do this by encouraging greater integration and synergy across existing pockets of expertise in the biological, behavioural, psychological, environmental and social sciences. Applications should be innovative, cross-disciplinary and collaborative, and include partnerships between basic, clinical and social scientists, and with other stakeholders.

Applications should provide robust evidence to improve public health in real-life settings by providing a holistic understanding of the important factors influencing obesity and developing effective strategies (individual, societal, or both) to tackle overweight and obesity.

Applications should aim to:

  • provide new insights on obesity by combining and building on:
    • existing resources (for example, cohorts, epidemiological studies, clinical trials, intervention studies, NHS and other data)
    • strengths in data linkage expertise
  • achieve greater understanding of the dynamic systems which lead to obesity by:
    • enhancing and merging data resources from different domains
    • engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders (for example, local authorities; councils; the public; a broad set of relevant industries such as pharma, food and retail industries, new technologies, artificial intelligence and social media)

Creative England Investments 

Deadline: None specified
Funding: £100,000 – £1m

Creative Growth Finance is providing vital scale up finance to a portfolio comprising some of the UK’s most promising creative businesses.  Finance will be directed to post-revenue creative businesses presenting promising growth potential and who:

– bring change, disruption and new IP to the creative industries

– harness creativity with technologies and supporting businesses

– are talent led


  • Loans of £100,000 – £1m across all UK regions 
  • Long-term specialist support  
  • Access to investment and creative networks 
  • Access to support programmes 

Researching motor neurone disease

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

Through this highlight notice, applicants are invited to submit innovative research proposals to MRC that aim to:

  • improve the mechanistic understanding of MND, including identification and validation of new biomarkers
  • investigate potential new therapeutic avenues

Apply for funding to research motor neurone disease (MND). You can get funding through any:

  • grants from MRC research boards or panels
  • MRC fellowships

You should apply through the existing funding opportunity that is most relevant to your science area and career stage.

Global Innovation Fund

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The Global Innovation Fund is a non-profit innovation fund headquartered in London with an office in Washington D.C. that invests in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. Through our grants and risk capital, we help breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from for profit firms, non profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies to maximise their impact and affect meaningful change.

NIHR: Health Technology Assessment

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost-effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care from NHS and social care services. They have a number of themed calls, please refer their website for more information.

NIHR: Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

The EME Programme primarily supports clinical trials, and other robustly designed studies that test the efficacy of interventions. The interventions should have the potential to improve patient care or benefit the public. The programme will only support studies where there is sufficient evidence that the intervention might work in man, i.e. that there is ‘proof of concept’. Current calls here include Cystic Fibrosis, Novel strategies to reduce overtreatment, Paediatric Care among others.

Nesta Impact Investment

Deadline: None specified
Funding: £1,000,000

Nesta Impact Investments is a £17.6m fund investing in life changing innovations that help tackle the major challenges faced by older people, children and communities in the UK.

New Horizons Grants – Cardiovascular research

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Up to £300,000 per project

Funding from BHF to encourage scientists from outside traditional cardiovascular biology to engage in cardiovascular research and bring novel expertise to the field to develop new technologies, models or methodologies and explore novel concepts. The principal investigator will be a senior researcher working in an established research institution in the UK. Early-stage concept development and testing, which may later lead to translational research, is appropriate for the New Horizons scheme. The proposed research plan should contain elements of developing novel technologies, models, applications or methodologies utilising the multidisciplinary background of the applicants.

Digital Health.London’s Accelerator programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Discretionary

DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator programme aims to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS, relieving high pressure on services and empowering patients to manage their health.

Companies successful in gaining a place on the programme usually have a product or service that has already been piloted in the NHS and is ready to scale.

Innovate UK Scale Up programme

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Not specified

Innovate UK EDGE’s highly regarded Scaleup Programme provides oneto-one, bespoke and fully funded support centered around innovative scaleups’ specific needs. It is available to those companies achieving, or with the potential for, 50% compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and over. The Scaleup Programme helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions. Delivering growth at scale is at the heart of Innovate UK’s emerging strategy for business innovation in the UK. Innovate UK EDGE is a key enabler of this strategic priority and through the Scaleup Programme, helps the highest potential businesses realise their ambitions.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF)

Deadline: None specified
Funding: Not available

BHF provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career. They also provide grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.


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