£100,000 funding on offer to small businesses in latest SBRI Healthcare Competition

SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products and services that address unmet health needs, today announced the launch of the latest SBRI Healthcare competition where up to 12 small business could each benefit from £100,000 Phase 1 product development funding.

In this latest round, SBRI Healthcare will look to award a total of £1 million for ideas from companies focused on addressing challenges in older people with multiple-morbidities and specifically in the problem areas of: Falls, Incontinence and Decline in Functional Ability.

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) works with Academic Health Science Networks to identify priority areas where technology can be applied to address major clinical challenges. The programme focuses on clearly identified NHS needs, bringing clinicians and business together at an early stage to harness the expertise of SMEs to develop effective solutions. Companies successful in the six month feasibility stage (Phase 1) are eligible to move on to more detailed product development and NHS validation where up to £2 million in further funding support can be secured across two additional phases.

Defined as suffering two or more chronic conditions, multi-morbidity affects patients of all ages but prevalence increases markedly with age, being present in most people aged 65 years and older. The types of chronic conditions included are multiple and varied, and it is widely recognised that the number of patients with multi-morbidity is increasing – particularly as the population ages – and that those patients are likely to have complex needs for healthcare.

“With people living longer and patients’ needs changing as a result, the NHS faces particular challenges in supporting frail older patients living with a range of chronic conditions. The latest SBRI Healthcare competition recognises the increased burden being put on primary care services and challenges companies to come forward with enabling ideas,” commented Karen Livingstone, Director of SBRI Healthcare. “We are always excited to see innovative technologies at an early stage in their development and in this case, to support companies in realising the potential of their products to extend patients’ lives and maximise NHS resources.”

The competition theme areas have been chosen in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England and specifically for this programme; Falls and Care Planning – Health Innovation Network (South London AHSN); Decline in Functional Ability – Eastern AHSN; and Urinary and Faecal Incontinence – West of England, UCL Partners and North West Coast AHSNs.

The competition closes on August 11, 2015 with winners announced in December.

Briefing events for businesses to learn about the competition will take place on June 18, Birmingham and June 25, London. To find out more visit www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk

About SBRI Healthcare

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), whose role is to promote UK economic growth by spreading innovation and best practice across the NHS. The SBRI Healthcare competitions are launched on a biannual basis and result in fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and NHS England to meet known healthcare need.

Generally taking a three-phased development approach, projects start with a 6 month feasibility phase and can then move on to more detailed product development. Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million over one year. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings. While the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology, its intellectual property (IP) remains with the company, thereby enabling successful businesses to grow.

Funding for SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The programme is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England and the other regional AHSNs. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.

Previous SBRI Healthcare competitions have called for technological and innovative solutions to, for example, change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases, how to live well with dementia and improved medicine management.

About Academic Health Science Networks

Academic Health Science Networks, of which there are 15 regionally based, have been designated to provide a systematic delivery mechanism for the local NHS, universities, public health and social care to work with industry to transform the identification, adoption and spread of proven innovations and best practice. SBRI Healthcare competition theme areas are chosen in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks across England. The programme management is led by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network on behalf of NHS England.

About Health Enterprise East and Competition details

Health Enterprise East Limited (HEE) is the NHS Innovation Hub for the East of England, and assists with accelerating the development and uptake of innovative MedTech products and services that improve the quality of healthcare delivery.

Having pioneered and successfully run the initiative for the East of England since its launch in 2009, HEE now oversees the national SBRI Healthcare programme bringing together businesses, the healthcare industry and the NHS. Information on future competitions can be found on the SBRI Healthcare and the Health Enterprise East websites.

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