UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £20 million to develop innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges. This funding is from Innovate UK.
Opens: 20 September 2023
Closes: 8 November 2023
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in projects to support UK registered businesses to develop innovative solutions to address significant health or healthcare challenges.
Your project can focus on:
This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
The Industry led research and development (R&D) stream of the Biomedical Catalyst programme supports pre-market R&D projects. Applicants must be able to demonstrate existing evidence of commercial and technical feasibility.
Applications must show how they will improve the competitiveness and productivity of at least one UK SME involved in the project.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.
Your project’s total costs must be between £150,000 and £4 million. The total grant cannot exceed £2 million.
Your project must:
Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.
You must only include eligible project costs in your application. If you have requested an overall grant of over £500,000, and your online application is successful at Stage 1, you may be invited to attend an interview.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service.
Partners must accept terms and conditions (T&Cs) and complete the subsidy question in order for the application to be submitted.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Extenuating circumstances where overseas work may be allowable include, for example; clinical trial in a specific patient population. The application assessors will be asked to judge whether you have sufficiently made a case for the use of overseas subcontractors.
Number of applications:
An SME can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.
If an SME is not leading on any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications. A research and technology organisation (RTO), a large business, academic institution, charity, not for profit, or public sector organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.
You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
We will not award you funding if you have:
Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable):
This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk).
Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.
EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must always make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.
Up to £20 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant. You must not claim more than £2 million in grant against your total project costs. A minimum of 50% of your total eligible project costs must be incurred by SMEs, if collaborative.
If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.
For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance.
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to: