i4i Challenge Awards Call 10

Key Features

Apply for UK grant funding from the NIHR i4i Challenge Awards, for the assessment of medtech innovations in healthcare settings.

Programme:     NIHR

Award:     No upper funding limit

Opens: 22nd Apr 2020

Closes: 5th Jun 2020

! This scheme is now closed


The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme will invite proposals to Call 10 of its researcher-led Challenge Awards on Real World Implementation (RWI).

The RWI Challenge Award will fund investigations of medtech innovations in healthcare settings. The aim is to shorten the evidence gap between the safety/efficacy typical of a newly or nearly CE marked technology and what is required for decisions by commissioners and regulators. At the same time, this will de-risk the product for follow-on investment.

Award Specifications

  • Applications are invited from SMEs, NHS Trusts, NHS service providers or Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). A minimum of two organisations must be involved, and the proposal must include at least one collaborator from an NHS Trust or NHS Service Provider.
  • Lead applicants must be based in England.
  • Projects will not have a duration limit. Timelines will need to be commensurate with the requirements of the project and the delivery of outputs, in terms of potential healthcare uptake and patient benefit.
  • There is no upper funding limit, but costs must be fully justified.

Proposal Specifications

  • Proposals must describe pilot implementation evaluation in NHS settings, and must demonstrate clear customer and stakeholder engagement and competitor analysis.
  • Projects must be supported by a strong health economic case emphasising the clinical utility of the new technology.
  • Teams are expected to have the appropriate skills for the delivery of the projects. Applications must take into account implementation and stakeholder management activities associated with the project besides clinical and technical aspects, and the team proposed will have to demonstrate the relevant expertise in all these areas.
  • Proposals must include a realistic risk-mitigation strategy.


The i4i Challenge Awards 2019 supported:

  • Activities associated with the design and delivery evaluations of medtech innovations in real-world healthcare settings.
  • Health economic analyses.
  • Work around business development, market analysis and development of case for adoption.
  • Small changes to the technology that might be needed for its optimisation during the lifetime of the project.
  • Training associated with the implementation of new technology.
  • Implementation research costs, including design of implementation strategy and management of studies associated with this, clinical pathway analysis, sustainability evaluation and data analysis.

This funding stream will not support:

  • Scale up manufacture of devices that will be needed to carry out the project.
  • Implementation costs other than those associated with research.
  • Potential major work around technology redesign arising from the clinical evaluation undertaken with this award.
  • Trials aimed solely at determining effectiveness of a product.
  • Digital technologies designed as ‘off the shelf’ products .
  • Technologies falling in the Evidence Tier 1 and 2 categories described in the ‘Evidence standards framework for digital health technologies’ from NICE.
  • Evaluation or clinical trials of products that have already a history of NHS use.
  • Animal studies or work on animal tissues.
  • Basic research.

More Information

To learn more about the i4i competitions, and how to apply via the NIHR Research Management System, please click here.