Here you will find current external funding opportunities available for innovation and research projects.

If you are aware of funding oportunities that are not listed please email the detail to and they will be added to the website.


18/02 - Health Services & Delivery Research Programme (Complex health and Care Needs in Older People)

The researcher-led workstream welcomes stage 1 proposals on topics or research questions identified by researchers within the programme’s remit. The aim is to fund research that will lead to improvements in health services that will be of greatest benefit to the NHS and to patients. We are interested in a range of types of research including primary research and evidence synthesis. We are particularly keen to see large scale studies of national importance. This means primary research projects which:

  • Address an issue of major strategic importance to the NHS, with the cost in line with the significance of the problem to be investigated
  • Are likely to lead to changes in practice that will have a significant impact on a large number of patients across the UK
  • Aim to fill a clear 'evidence gap', and are likely to generate new knowledge of direct relevance to the NHS
  • Have the potential for findings to be applied to other conditions or situations outside the immediate area of research
  • Bring together a team with strong expertise and track record across the full range of relevant disciplines
  • Will be carried out across more than one research site.

Deadline: 26th April 2018 at 1300hrs

Further information can be found here

Innovate UK Open Funding Competition

Innovate UK will invest up to £15 million in highly innovative projects with the best game changing and/or disruptive ideas or concepts. This should be with a view to commercialisation and economic impact.

Projects should aim to lead to new products, processes or services (or novel use of existing ones) believed to be significantly ahead of anything similar available in the field. You can view Innovate UK videos and success stories to help in your application.

Your proposals can come from any technology (including arts, design, media or creative industries) and any part of the economy.

Projects must focus on commercialisation, growth or scale up as soon as possible following completion. Priority is given to proposals likely to lead to growth, gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export.

You may also be interested in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), a completely separate competition with a separate application process.

Your project’s total costs should be between £25,000 and £1 million depending on the type of research and development (R&D) to be undertaken. Project duration should be a minimum of 6 months, and a maximum of 3 years.

Deadline: 9th May 2018 at 1200hrs

Further information can be found here.


SBRI: automated pre-cleaning of surgical instruments

The aim of this competition is to find an automated solution to the pre-cleaning of surgical instruments as part of the NHS sterile services process.

We are looking for a range of solutions that are technically innovative and good value for money. Proposals must show how projects would develop and test a prototype.

This is a 2-phase competition. The first phase will be a feasibility study. Applicants who are successful will be able to apply to take part in phase 2, developing prototypes and evaluating them. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1.

Deadline: Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 1200hrs

Further information can be found here.


18/11 Improving the participation and conduct of health services research in nursing and care homes at scale

There are around 400,000 care home residents in the UK, and one in seven of people aged 85 years and older are in care homes. The sector is experiencing considerably increased demand from an ageing and increasingly frail population, and within 10 years it is predicted that demand will outstrip supply. In addition, there is demand for specialist care homes for people with specific neurological and/or learning disabilities. There are numerous points of contact between the NHS and social care systems and care homes, requiring co-ordination and partnership. The complexity and challenges of providing healthcare to care home residents are distinctly different from other care contexts, since complex interventions such as exercise for falls prevention, and quality improvement methods that work in other health institutional settings, might not always be transferable to a care home setting.

Recognising the importance of improving the quality of care in care homes, NHS England has established six vanguard areas, where care homes are working closely with the NHS, local authorities, the voluntary sector, carers and families to optimise the health of their residents (NHS England, 2016). Each vanguard is developing a locally tailored care model for enhanced health in care homes (EHCH). The ambition is to apply this model incrementally to all of England over a three-year period. The NIHR HS&DR Programme has funded an evidence review of the components of the model (Hanratty, In-editorial). This included the finding that of 65 care evaluation measurement tools that had been used in care homes since 2000, only six had been tested for use in UK care homes, and none scored well when their quality was assessed. Regarding care outcome measures there is a need for easy to administer and robust measures.

Evaluation of the six vanguards show the need for shared care records and secure e-mail systems, and the use of linked health and social care datasets to reduce duplication, care gaps and improve productivity. The limitations of routinely available data have been highlighted for service delivery, service improvement and evaluation. The care sector requires data to understand the health requirements of their residents and what services will enable them to live and die well. There is also limited data collected routinely that can be used by care homes, commissioners and by researchers to assess the impact of care home initiatives on residents’ needs. Yet, care homes compile many sources of data on their residents, but the problem lies in how data are standardized, organised, accessed and used by those commissioning, planning and providing care.

Currently, research is conducted in a minority of care homes, and is biased towards those participants able to consent. A robust minimum dataset with comprehensive coverage of residents and care homes would enable research to be more inclusive and results to be more generalisable.

Research into models for collaboration, and research to evidence the uses, content, requirements for data providers and users and resourcing of a minimum dataset are required.

Deadline: Thursday 10th May 2018 at 1300hrs

Further information can be found here.


18/12 Predicting failure of quality of care in NHS healthcare service provider organisations, and evidence for the interventions that lead to sustained improvement

Healthcare in the UK has experienced recent high-profile failures of the quality of care, and this experience is shared in many other countries. Learning from international research that takes account of differences in healthcare systems of provision and regulation, is required. Evidence reviews are needed to better understand and apply predictors of failing NHS secondary and tertiary provider organisations (hospitals and community health services, mental health and ambulance services) and the interventions for recovery, learning from other countries and related remedial organisational principles. Primary research is also required on the contribution of insufficient medical engagement to organisational failure in quality of care, and to interventions which address medical engagement NHS provider organisations in the UK. Excluded from this call are studies confined to primary care provider organisations. Applicants may submit proposals for either or both topics and sub topics.

Deadline: Thursday 10th May 2018 at 1300hrs

Further information can be found here.


18/06 Enabling people to live well with dementia through interventions in a community setting

Which interventions within a community environment (physical and social) make it easier for people with dementia to maintain quality of life and remain living in their community for longer? Effective design features for producing dementia friendly environments at both the housing and neighbourhood levels, can help enable a person with dementia to maintain quality of life, continue normal routines and activities, and potentially enable them to remain at home for longer, and delay the need for a move into residential accommodation.

Deadline: Tuesday 24th July 2018 at 1300hrs

Further information can be found here.

18/07 - Rural Health

Which interventions are effective* in improving health and reducing health inequalities for rural** populations? Rural areas have diverse characteristics and populations and this is reflected in their health profiles and issues. Overall, health outcomes tend to be better in rural areas than urban areas in the UK, with higher life expectancy and lower rates of premature deaths, and greater proportions of people reporting themselves to be in good health. However, rural areas have particular challenges that can contribute to poorer health outcomes, and these may affect some locations and some populations disproportionately.

Deadline: Tuesday 24th July 2018 at 1300hrs

Further information can be found here

H2020: Understanding causative mechanisms in co- and multi-morbidities - SC1-BHC-01-2019

Specific ChallengeThe increasing number of individuals with co-and multimorbidities poses an urgent need to improve management of patients with multiple co-existing diseases. A better understanding of their causative mechanisms is needed to develop early diagnosis, efficient prevention and monitoring, and better treatments adapted to co- and multimorbid patients throughout their life course. Furthermore, there are many different etiological models of comorbid conditions (e.g., direct causation model or a consequence of treatment). In this context, capturing and measuring patient's complexity in the context of co- and multimorbidities is crucial for adequate management of these conditions and requires innovative approaches.

ScopeProposals should identify and validate causative mechanisms (e.g. molecular, genetic, correlative, drug-drug interaction) combining mental and physical disorders through the integration of basic, pre-clinical and/or clinical research. Applicants should prove the relevance of the identified mechanisms for co-morbid development. Where pertinent, development of biomarkers and other technologies for diagnosis and monitoring of comorbid conditions in patients is encouraged. A purposeful exploitation of existing data, biobanks, registries and cohorts is expected, but does not exclude generation of new data. Sex and gender aspects, age, socio-economic, lifestyle and behavioural factors and any other non-health related individual attributes should be taken into consideration. SME participation is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • New directions for clinical research to improve prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy development, and management of co- and multimorbidities.
  • Whenever relevant identified biomarkers for more accurate and earlier diagnosis, prognosis as well as monitoring of patients' condition.

Cross-cutting PrioritiesSocio-economic science and humanities and Gender

  • Clinical trials are excluded
  • Including any national, EU or international resource or infrastructure if appropriate.

Deadline: Tuesday 2nd October at 1700 hrs (CET)

Further information can be found here.

H2020: Systems approaches for the discovery of combinatorial therapies for complex disorders - SC1-BHC-02-2019

Specific Challenge: Many complex disorders pose a challenge to identify the most effective therapeutic interventions because current therapies often target specific aspects of a disease, without achieving complete control or the best possible results for patients. Due to the multiple causes of such diseases and the heterogeneity between patients, approaches directed at single targets have had limited efficacy, overlooking important factors involved in disease pathophysiology. Hence, a promising therapeutic approach to meet this challenge is to combine different therapies, while increasing therapeutic efficacy in a cost-effective manner.

ScopeResearch should aim to understand at systems level the pathophysiology of a disorder in groups of patients responding well or poorly to particular therapies and further develop combinatorial therapies tailored to the needs of individuals or stratified patient groups.

Projects should focus on already available and/or authorised therapies and have access to standardized biobank samples derived from retrospective or currently running clinical studies. These patient samples should be re-analysed with modern high-throughput technologies. The existing and newly produced data should be integrated using systems approaches, which could combine sub-cellular/cellular and/or organ level in-silico models and network analysis as appropriate, and used to build more sophisticated computational frameworks to predict patient responses to combinatorial therapies. These predictions should be validated in pre-clinical and clinical studies taking into account sex and gender differences. Funding of late stage clinical trials is not within the scope of this topic.

Applicants should include a thorough data management plan for transnational data sharing to enable the computational analysis and it is strongly recommended to adhere to the state-of-the-art international standards and to the general concepts of the FAIR principles.

The topic invites proposals in complex disorders of high prevalence and of a high economic burden (rare diseases are excluded). SME participation is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • New concepts of combinatorial therapies for complex disorders tailored to the needs of individuals or stratified patient groups.
  • Improved efficacy and take-up in the clinical setting in comparison to established therapeutic interventions.
  • Enable the development of personalised medicine.
  • Increased research & innovation opportunities in this industry intensive field, particularly for SMEs.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

Deadline: Tuesday 2nd October at 1700 hrs (CET)

Further information can be found here.

H2020: Regenerative medicine: from new insights to new applications - SC1-BHC-07-2019

Specific ChallengeRegenerative medicine offers hope for untreatable disease and the ageing population, improved quality of life and reduced medical costs. However, so far, regenerative medicine has not yet proved itself in the clinic beyond rare diseases or conditions of limited public health importance. With recent scientific discoveries opening up new approaches to regenerative medicine, the challenge is to use these to extend the regenerative approach to major diseases and conditions.

ScopeRegenerative medicine replaces or regenerates human cells, tissue or organs, to restore or establish normal function. Projects should focus on innovative translational research to develop regenerative processes towards the ultimate clinical goal of addressing unmet clinical needs of large patient groups. Proposals should be based on new approaches such as genome editing or gene therapy, transdifferentiation or in vivo reprogramming, cell therapy and transplantation, 3D bioprinting, organoids or use of combined products (non-exhaustive list for illustrative purposes only). In all cases, proposals should explain in what way their approach is regenerative. Research on improved methods of tissue and organ transplantation is included on the condition that there is a clear regenerative step in the process. The project may focus on any step(s) on the innovation chain, from early testing and characterization of regenerative mechanisms to preclinical research, proof of concept or clinical trial. Sex and gender differences should be investigated, where relevant. Projects should include a section on the proposed therapy's exploitation potential, regulatory and commercialisation strategy and how it would be made available and delivered to patients.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

  • Potential new regenerative therapies to address unmet clinical needs of large patient groups identified
  • Europe's position in translational regenerative medicine strengthened
  • New therapies for major human diseases and conditions, and new approaches for therapy taken further in the development pipeline.

Deadline: Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 1700 hrs (CET)

Further information can be found here.

H2020: Innovation Procurement: Next generation sequencing (NGS) for routine diagnosis - SC1-BHC-10-2019

Specific ChallengeWe observe a progressive shift in routine diagnostics, and more particularly in personalised medicine practice, from a growing number of molecular tests to a next generation sequencing approach (NGS). NGS can provide insights on a person’s genetic susceptibility to disease, diagnostic information, and predictive indications about treatment outcome. It also allows to embrace simultaneously different molecular pathways of disease evolution and to identify actionable mutations in a patient for medical decision and further research. In addition, it requires less sample material than multiple tests and therefore reduces risk and inconvenience for patients. However, the introduction of NGS in clinical practice is hampered by its cost, the availability of proper NGS tests, and diagnostic errors resulting from insufficient quality assurance, technological bias and complex interpretation of data.

Scope: The objective is to implement NGS in routine diagnostics for personalised medicine and scale up demand-driven innovation for healthcare systems. This includes organisational, economical, technical and clinical aspects. It should lead to NGS tests, clinically validated procedures (including sex analysis), quality assurance schemes, tools and methods for data collection, management, analysis and interpretation, with a view to assist clinical decision-making and foster medical research and innovation. Transferability and cloud based NGS data analyses should be considered, as appropriate. Input from initiatives like the EJP Cofund on rare diseases and ERNs should be considered when relevant. Ethical issues should be addressed.

For grants awarded under this topic for Pre-Commercial procurement it is expected that results could contribute to European or international standards. Therefore, the respective option of Article 28.2 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 9 and 11 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Proposals of this topic should follow the specific requirements for pre-commercial procurement PCP supported by Horizon 2020 grants as set out in General Annex E of the WP.

Expected Impact:

  • New NGS platforms and use of NGS tests in routine diagnostics for personalised medicine.
  • Accepted new European standards and quality assurance schemes with respect to NGS.
  • Strengthening of implementation of personalised medicine and improved clinical decisions and health outcomes for the benefits of patients.
  • Contribution to the sustainability of healthcare systems.
  • Growth and benefit to the European industry, in particular SMEs.

Deadline: Tuesday 16 April 2019 at 1700 hrs (CET)

Further information can be found here.

H2020: Mining big data for early detection of infectious disease threats driven by climate change and other factors - SC1-BHC-13-2019

Specific Challenge:

A range of factors is responsible for the (re-)emergence of infectious disease threats, including antimicrobial resistance, altering the epidemiology and spread of disease in a changing global environment. These include drivers such as climate change and associated environmental impacts, population growth, unplanned urbanisation and high mobility, as well as animal husbandry or intensive farming practices.

At the same time, tools for infectious disease diagnostics and surveillance are evolving rapidly, allowing for ever more accurate diagnosis in ever shorter time. The use of next generation sequencing combined with surveillance data, health registries and societal data from informal/non-traditional sources (e.g. social media) holds promise for improving individual and population health. Current advanced IT technologies offer the opportunity to integrate such big data sets and could enable the rapid and personalised treatment of infected patients, and bolster the detection, tracking and control of infectious disease outbreaks.


It is expected that proposals develop:

  1. the technology to allow the pooling, access, analysis and sharing of relevant data, including next generation sequencing;

  2. the innovative bio-informatics and modelling methodologies that enable risk modelling and mapping; and

  3. the analytical tools for early warning, risk assessment and monitoring of (re-)emerging infectious disease threats.

Proposals should be able to demonstrate the feasibility of such extended data mining for the purposes outlined above, as well as its European level added value. The ready-to-use analytical tools and services that are developed should be based on an assessment of the needs of potential end-users in the Member States and on European level, should as far as possible build on and be compatible with existing European initiatives, and should remain available for public use at the end of the project at a reasonable cost.

Proposals should be transdisciplinary and ensure an integrated One Health approach by linking data from a wide range of relevant sources depending on the infectious disease threat. These may include human (e.g. community, hospital or laboratory health services) and animal health surveillance, health registries, microbial and viral genomic data (including next generation sequencing), pathogen resistance data, mapping of vectors, climate and environmental data as well as societal data that are correlates of disease; possible sex and/or gender differences should be taken into account. Solutions for gaps in existing data (addressing both a lack in quality and quantity) should be proposed.

Solutions for interoperability between different data sources should be addressed and integrated. It is expected that quality-controlled data are shared in accordance to the general concepts of the FAIR principles. The use of harmonised protocols in collaboration with other actors is recommended for this purpose. Appropriate regulatory and governance mechanisms need to be foreseen, taking into account different data sharing needs, as well as data privacy and data security aspects for the different types of stakeholders providing and analysing data. The technology and tools developed should be functional outside of outbreaks (i.e. in "peace time"), so that all stakeholders involved develop a routine use of them. At the same time, flexibility is needed to enable adaptation to different outbreak contexts and situations. The proposal shall foresee, in case of public health emergencies, open access to data at the moment it is generated or no later than one month thereafter subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients, in accordance with the relevant options in Article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

The use of advanced IT technologies like high performance computing, or geo-localisation data are anticipated. The use of European health research (e-)infrastructures such as those included under CORBEL is encouraged where relevant. The successful proposal(s) should foresee to consult with the end-users at both national (e.g. public health institutes) and European (e.g. ECDC, EFSA) level at key milestones of the project's timeline. If more than one proposal is selected, they are expected to collaborate. In addition, coordination will be needed with the selected proposal from the Horizon 2020 call topic SFS-36-2017 on the establishment of a European Joint Programme on One Health.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 12-15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

  • Strengthened EU preparedness to address threats from (re-)emerging infectious disease threats, by making available the appropriate technology and tools for risk modelling and early threat detection, to support an appropriate public health response.

  • Contribution to the European One Health action plan against antimicrobial resistance.

  • Contribution to the digital transformation of health and care within the context of the EU Digital Single Market.

  • Contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and specifically the targets on 1) combating epidemics, and 2) strengthening capacity for early warning and response to health risks.

  • Contribution to achieving of SDG 13 and specifically the targets on 1) integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning, and 2) improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Deadline: Tuesday 16th April 2019 at 1700 hrs (CET)

Further information can be found here.

NESTA - Impact Investment Fund

The Fund invests between £150k and £1m in social ventures developing innovations that tackle the major challenges faced by older people, children and communities in the UK. An experienced team of sector experts, venture capitalists, impact investors and evaluators backed by Nesta, provide expertise and guidance, helping companies to grow their reach, demonstrate their impact and become financially sustainable.

Deadline: Ongoing

Further information can be found here.

Wellcome Trust - Innovator Award

Up to £500,000 available for up to 24 months to support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health. The current focus areas are mental health, neurological disorders and neglected tropical diseases (although applications from other areas may be considered).

Deadline: Ongoing

Further information can be found here.