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SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research


Organisations can apply for a share of £3million, inclusive of VAT, to develop products and services to support healthy ageing.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UKRI. The aim of the competition is to fund organisations to deliver social impact and address one or more of the seven themes of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework

UKRI will award up to £4million inclusive of VAT across two strands. These are:

  1. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures Feasibility Studies for projects with costs up to £50,000
  2. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research for projects with costs from £50,000 to £150,000 for prototype development and evaluation (this strand)

This is phase 1 of a potential two-phase competition.

A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1, availability of further funding and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.

Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possible competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

Projects must range in size from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT.

Open Date:


Close Date:


The aim of this competition is to enable businesses with a social purpose to develop and deliver innovative products and services.

Your project must:

  • Address one or more of the seven themes identified by the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework to support people as they age
  • Identify a clear route to market, scalability and sustainability for your product or service
  • Have a clearly identified and existing lead customer
  • Demonstrate the technical, development and market feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • Describe how your innovation is addressing critical social or environmental challenges
  • Demonstrate a causal link between your business activities and achievement of your declared social or environmental impact
  • Describe how all social impact will be measured, evidenced, and reported
  • Outline your commitment to specific social outcomes, clearly identifying beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • Explain how any profits after tax will be distributed so surpluses are used to achieve future social or environmental impacts
  • Establish ongoing collaboration between all members of the project team
  • Formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts

Products and services benefitting the general public must be accessible without restrictions and barriers such as affordability.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following seven themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework:

  • Living well with cognitive impairment
  • Sustaining physical activity
  • Maintaining health at work and work in later life
  • Managing the common complaints of ageing
  • Design for age-friendly homes
  • Creating healthy active places
  • Supporting social connections

Research categories

Prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real life operating conditions. The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set.

Projects must:

  • Start by 1 March 2022
  • End by 29 February 2024
  • Have total eligible project costs from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT

Projects can last up to 24 months.

To lead a project, you must:

  • Be an organisation of any size
  • Work alone or with other organisations as subcontractors
  • Exist wholly to provide benefits for society
  • Have stated commitment to social outcomes for an identified set of beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • Have objects in your constitutional documents, which form a constitutional lock, that protect your social or environmental mission
  • Have a policy to distribute profits after tax so surpluses are used to achieve social or environmental impacts

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity.

However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Previously submitted applications

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

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £3million, inclusive of VAT.

In this strand, prototyping and evaluation contracts will be awarded from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT, for each project up to 24 months.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • Adjust the provisional funding allocations
  • Apply a ‘portfolio’ approach based on geography, themes, scale of project and sustainability

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.

If you are VAT registered then you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process, VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total.

If you are not VAT registered, then you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. You will not be able to increase invoice values to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. Innovate UK will not provide any further advice and advise you to seek independent advice from HMRC.

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to research and development (R&D) services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • Commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • Supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • Integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Subsidy Control

SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.

Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • Do not have a strong social impact, focus or purpose
  • Do not address any of the seven themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework
  • Include clinical trials, clinical studies, or fundamental research
  • Require regulatory approval
  • Do not have an existing lead customer
  • Involve the development of early stage technologies

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.