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SBRI: Improving Multimorbidity Acute Care Using Data Analytics, phase 1


Organisations can apply for a share of £160,000 inclusive of VAT to develop a data-driven solution to improve the care and outcomes for patients with multimorbidity admitted in A&E.

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Scottish Government through Health Innovation South East Scotland.

The aim is to improve clinical decision-making by introducing a data-driven approach that must:

  • Identify multimorbidity patients
  • Provide individual risk stratification through real-time data visualisation
  • Provide decision support following an emergency admission

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 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.

Successful applicants will receive funding, as well as guidance from NHS Lothian, The Data Lab, University of Edinburgh and access to the DataLoch repository of health data for South East Scotland.

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

Phase 1 projects can have total costs of up to £10,000, inclusive of VAT.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Multi-morbidity (two or more concurrent chronic conditions) is associated with poor quality health, reduced life expectancy, greater levels of social exclusion, and reduced employment opportunities.

Currently the identification and characterisation of multi-morbidity is hindered by poor real-time access to fragmented individual data sets. This leads to delays in clinicians being able to make rapid, informed recommendations on the best next steps in a person’s care journey.

The aim is to develop a data-driven solution that can improve and personalize the care plans for patients with multimorbidity when they have an emergency admission to hospital by introducing analytical models in the clinical system that could assist with the risk assessment of patients.

In phase 1, you must:

  • Engage with clinicians, patients and other stakeholders to understand data sets, ascertain end-user requirements and how information visualisation can be tailored to clinicians
  • Outline requirements and plans for Phase 2

At this stage contracts will be awarded for phase 1 only. You must define your goals and outline your plan for phase 2. This is part of the full commercial implementation in your phase 1 proposal.

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

Phase 2 projects must:

  • Develop automated mechanisms for identifying multimorbidity in patients admitted to emergency departments using clinical data from varied sources in collaboration with clinical and academic partners
  • Develop AI and/or machine learning that will facilitate data extraction from new data sources and integrate into risk stratification models
  • Develop algorithms to risk stratify individuals who are at risk of adverse outcomes including death or hospital readmission
  • Develop end-user tools that permit real-time visualisation of data and risk stratification to support personalised clinical decision making
  • Develop a business plan

Research categories

Phase 1: technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

In phase 1 the supplier will work closely with the stakeholders to explore the needs for developing a solution. The outcome of phase 2 will be a prototype of the solution.

Phase 2: 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 are expected to start by 5 May 2021 and can last up to three months.

To lead a project, you can:

  • Be an organisation of any size
  • Work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

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.

A total of up to £50,000, inclusive of VAT is allocated to phase 1.

Phase 1

Feasibility study R&D contracts of up to £10,000, inclusive of VAT will be awarded for each successful project for up to three months. Innovate UK expect to fund up to five projects.

Phase 2

The second phase involves up to two contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £55,000 inclusive of VAT will be awarded for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to nine months.

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

  • Adjust the provisional funding allocations between the phases
  • Apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

The contract is completed at the end of phase 2, and the successful business is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to 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

State aid

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

Innovate UK will not fund projects that cover:

  • Solutions that are incompatible with the current technologies used by the healthcare community and the main patient population in Scotland
  • Basic research or exploratory studies where an idea or solution has not been identified

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.