i4i Connect: funding for SMEs to accelerate medical technology development

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme is launching a new funding stream - i4i Connect - aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering up to £150,000 over a 6-12 month period to help them reach their next stage in the development pathway. EoI deadline 13 Sept.

The Health Foundation - Scaling Up Improvement 

Scaling up Improvement will support up to seven projects that aim to scale and spread tested interventions or approaches to improve the delivery of healthcare services. Projects must be able to make improvements at scale at care pathway, health board, clinical network, organisational, regional or national levels. Your project should result in direct impact on patient outcomes within the timescale of the programme.  Funding of up to £500,000 for each of the successful projects, see here for more details. 

NHS England Innovation and Technology  Tariff

NHS England have announced a new ‘Innovation and Technology Tariff’ to fast track the introduction of seven types of innovations during 2017/18. The Tariff is intended to help cut the difficulties experienced by innovators and clinicians in getting uptake and spread of technologies and services across the NHS. It will remove the need for multiple price negotiations between providers and suppliers, and instead guarantee automatic reimbursement when an approved innovation is used, whilst at the same time allowing NHS England and DH to negotiate national “bulk buy” discounts on behalf of hospitals, GPs and patients.  For five of the six innovation categories providers would be reimbursed through local pricing. NHS England will then reimburse commissioners for this cost in addition to its commissioner allocations.  The sixth category, treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia as a day case, is already included in national prices.

The innovations will stay on the Tariff for as long as they provide benefit to patients, but they will be subject to annual review.

The following six innovations will be included in the Tariff:

  • Guided mediolateral episiotomy scissors to minimise the risk of obstetric injury
  • Arterial connecting systems to reduce bacterial contamination and the accidental administration of medication
  • Pneumonia prevention systems which are designed to stop ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Web based applications for the self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Frozen microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection rates
  • Prostatic urethral lift systems to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia as a day case 

The Tariff will be operational from April 2017. To find out more: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/11/innov-tech-tariff

The Longitude Prize

The Longitude Prize is a £10m prize fund that will reward a competitor that can develop a  point–of–care diagnostic test that will conserve antibiotics for future generations and revolutionise the delivery of global healthcare. The test must be accurate, rapid, affordable and easy to use anywhere in the world.

To find out more: https://longitudeprize.org/challenge/antibiotics

Closing date: Entries judged every four months until December 2019, or until a winner is chosen.


Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards 


Deadline: No deadline, apply at any time (decision received within 16 weeks of submission).
Amount: Up to £500k
Duration: Up to 24 months

Innovator Awards are open to researchers who are developing healthcare innovations that could have a major and measurable impact on human health.
Individuals and teams from not-for-profit and commercial organisations can apply. Organisations can be of any size, based anywhere in the world.
15-20 Innovator Awards are expected to be funded in 2017.

You can work in any discipline on any type of technology. Examples of technologies include:
•    therapeutics (small molecules or biologics)
•    vaccines
•    diagnostics
•    devices
•    digital technology
•    regenerative medicine.
The work that you propose must be essential for developing your healthcare innovation.

Focus areas
At the moment, Wellcome are particularly interested in healthcare innovations that address problems in:
•    mental health
•    neurological disorders
•    neglected tropical diseases.