Digital Health Technology Catalyst: Round 4

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million to develop new digital health solutions. Projects can use the services of the NICE DataLab to help with real world data.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 11th Feb 2019

Closes: 10th Apr 2019

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £5 million in industrial research and experimental development projects. These must develop new digital technology solutions to healthcare challenges.

In addition to offering grant funding to projects, Innovate UK is funding NICE DataLabs to provide additional advisory services to projects. All projects that are successful at the interview stage will then be assessed by NICE DataLab to determine whether their services would be suitable.


The aims of this competition are to:

  • address major healthcare challenges
  • grow the UK digital healthcare industry through the innovative use of digital technologies
  • develop solutions for either clinical or non-clinical use

Your project must address unmet healthcare needs in one or more of the following:

  1. Improving health, and closing the health and wellbeing gap.
  2. Transforming care, and closing the care and quality gap.
  3. Controlling costs, enabling change, and closing the finance and efficiency gap.

The specific technologies you use could include:

  • 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 Innovate UK will fund can include:

  • 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
  • be collaborative and include at least one 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

Your project’s total eligible costs can be between £300,000 and £1 million.

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

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

All projects must start by 1 October 2019, can last up to 18 months and must be completed by 1 March 2021.


In this competition, Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • do not have digital technology as the main provider of transformation
  • cannot demonstrate in their application that they will benefit from NICE Datalab services
  • discover or develop medicines
  • seek only to develop data or record-keeping systems
  • do not demonstrate strong awareness of the underlying unmet healthcare need
  • are not collaborative
  • are not game-changing or disruptive innovative ideas leading to new solutions
  • do not explain how they will gather and demonstrate relevant economic, safety and clinical evidence