Digital health technology catalyst round 3: collaborative R&D

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million to speed up development of commercial digital health solutions.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £8 million

Opens: 3rd Sep 2018

Closes: 31st Oct 2018

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £8 million in industrial research and experimental development projects that develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges.


You can develop solutions for either clinical or non-clinical use.

Projects must be innovative, collaborative and clearly demonstrate how they will have the potential to improve the health and care system. It is recommended to collaborate with healthcare providers if beneficial to the project.

There are 3 areas identified as areas of importance:

1. Improving health, and closing the health and wellbeing gap with:

  • cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • mental health early stage intervention and treatment
  • diabetes risk and incidence reduction

2. Transforming care, and closing the care and quality gap with:

  • urgent and emergency care provision
  • management of primary care workload
  • enabling patient choice in elective care

3. Controlling costs, enabling change. and closing the finance and efficiency gap. This will be through the use of technology to maintain or improve levels of care with reduced spending.

Specific technologies include (but are not limited to):

  • immersive: virtual and augmented reality
  • intelligent: artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • connected: use of sensors, internet of things (IoT), networks
  • data driven: informatics, data analytics and process

The types of digital health projects they will fund include (but are not limited to):

  • clinical decision-making support
  • technologies that improve access to healthcare or help treatment compliance or provide patient led management
  • digital technologies and products which help overcome privacy challenges of managing, sharing and exploiting data
  • projects addressing the patient-led experience from prevention, through diagnosis, treatment and recovery, to long-term care
  • applications of technology to health challenges where digital solutions offer and can demonstrate significant improvements in quality, speed, cost, outcomes and learning


To be eligible for funding your project must:

  • be led by a UK based SME
  • include at least one of the following: another business (of any size), NHS organisation, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK

The lead organisation and at least one other organisation in the project must claim funding through this competition.

Funding Costs

Industrial research and experimental development projects’ total eligible costs can be between £300,000 and £1 million.

All projects must start by 1 April 2019 and can last up to 24 months.

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

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business


In this competition Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • do not have digital technology as the main provider of transformation
  • discover or develop medicines
  • seek only to develop data or record-keeping systems
  • do not demonstrate strong awareness of the underlying unmet need
  • are not collaborative
  • are not game-changing or disruptive innovative ideas leading to new solutions
  • do not explain how you will gather and demonstrate relevant economic, safety and clinical evidence