Extended reality (XR) for digital mental health – strand 2

Key Features

UK registered businesses and collaborative partners can apply for a share of up to £4 million across two strands of the competition. This is for R&D projects that provide digital mental health therapeutic solutions.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £4 million

Opens: 2nd Sep 2022

Closes: 12th Oct 2022

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £4 million in innovation projects in the creative technologies sector. This is across two strands of the competition.


The aim of this competition is to enable improved delivery of mental health and wellbeing services, through the application of immersive technologies.

Your project must undertake research and development, in the form of industrial research, in the application of Extended Reality (XR) to provide mental health care solutions.

This would be specifically to explore how digital therapeutic content can provide positive mental health applications and outcomes for both young adults (aged 13 and above) and older adults.

Your project must demonstrate that the solution could be applied, trialled and ultimately adopted at scale, to provide a broad benefit to the UK mental health sector.

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, technological maturities, geographic regions, mental health conditions and research categories. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on a digital mental health therapy through the application of Extended Reality (XR).


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • early stage research
  • unsuitable for potential trial following an R&D cycle of up to 2 years

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage- for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product


Your project must:

  • have total project costs between £100,000 and £250,000
  • start by 01 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last between 6 months and 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

To lead a project or work alone your organisation

  • must be a UK registered business of any size.
  • can collaborate with other UK registered organisations

Academic institutions and RTOs cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size, including social ventures
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

If collaborative, the lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding by entering their costs during the application.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

A business can only lead on one application in this strand but can be included as a collaborator in a further two applications.

If a business is not leading on an application, it can collaborate in up to three applications in this strand.

An academic institution, charity, not for profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO) can collaborate in any number of applications.

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

Funding Costs

Up to £4 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

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

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

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.