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Biomedical Catalyst 2021 Round 2: Feasibility & Primer Awards

Overview:

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £12million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £12million for businesses to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.

The aim of this competition is to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of an innovative scientific idea or carry out a technical evaluation through to proof of concept in a model system. Your project must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge

Your project can focus on:

  • Disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • Earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • Tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

This competition combines the feasibility and primer strands of the Biomedical Catalyst.

Feasibility Award

The feasibility award is designed for projects that have developed an innovative concept or carried out experimental proof of concept but have not validated the technology. The aim of the feasibility award is to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of innovative ideas.

Primer Award

The primer award is for conducting a technical evaluation of an idea through to proof of concept in a model system.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £1million.

Open Date:

18/10/2021

Close Date:

01/12/2021

The aim of this competition is to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of an innovative scientific idea, or to carry out a technical evaluation through to proof of concept in a model system.

Your project must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a defined health or care challenge.

Innovate UK will only support innovation projects conducted to the highest standards of animal welfare.

Visit the UKRI Good Research Hub and NC3R’s animal welfare guidance for further information.

This competition combines the feasibility and primer strands of the Biomedical Catalyst.

Your project can:

  • Review research evidence and identify possible applications
  • Assess business opportunities
  • Assess or protect intellectual property
  • Validate initial concepts and existing pre-clinical work through experimental studies
  • Initially demonstrate using in-vitro and in-vivo models, but not human clinical trials
  • Develop early-stage prototyping
  • Acquire preliminary regulatory advice

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations are highly encouraged where appropriate in the proposal. Applications will continue to be assessed on their innovation merit, where innovation is defined as the potential for commercially successful exploitation of ideas.

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on any health and care sector or discipline.

Innovate UK particularly welcomes applications that support innovation in the following areas:

  • Child health technologies
  • Innovations that support clinical trials in the UK
  • Biomedical innovations that combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance

Your project can align with one or more of the following:

  • Medical technologies and devices
  • Stratified healthcare
  • Advanced therapies such as gene and cell therapies
  • Digital health
  • Drug discovery
  • Diagnostics

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Your project must:

  • Have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £1million
  • Start on 1 April 2022
  • End by 31 March 2024
  • Last between three months and 24 months
  • Carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • Intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone, your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK-registered:

  • Business of any size
  • Academic institution
  • Charity
  • Not-for-profit
  • Public sector organisation
  • Research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

In a collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Large companies can be collaborators but will not be able to claim grant funding.

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 eligible project costs.

Subcontractors

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 also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

Innovate UK expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. Innovate UK will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Innovate UK will decide whether to approve your request.

Extenuating circumstances where overseas work may be allowable include, for example; clinical trial in a specific patient population.

Number of applications

An SME can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further two applications.

If an SME is not leading on any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

An RTO, academic institution, not-for-profit, charity or public sector organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK’s obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

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 the general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. Innovate UK are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must make sure at all times 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.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean Innovate UK need to change the terms of this competition, they will tell you as soon as possible.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £12million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

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.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

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.

Research participation

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:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-s registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your eligible project costs if you are an RTO, charity, non-profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • In scope for the Biomedical Catalyst early-stage or late-stage awards
  • Not related to human life sciences
  • Already on the market
  • Laboratory accreditation
  • Conducted to anything less than the highest standards of animal welfare
  • Dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • Dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.