Investment accelerator: innovation in precision medicine

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £6 million of grant funding to match private equity investment and fund innovations in precision medicine.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £6 million

Opens: 23rd Jul 2018

Closes: 26th Sep 2018

! This scheme is now closed


This is an investment accelerator competition providing simultaneous grant funding and private investment for early stage projects led by UK companies.

Up to £6 million of grant funding and a comparable amount of private equity investment is available to support business-led innovation in precision medicine technologies. Proposals must offer a disruptive change to the way that we accurately diagnose, monitor and treat disease.


Innovate UK define precision medicine as ‘technology that enables early and accurate diagnosis to inform patient treatment, as well as the availability of targeted therapies’.

They will only fund projects that include at least one of the following:

  1. Next generation diagnostics that enable early and accurate diagnosis to inform patient management and/or selection of therapy. This includes new molecular and cellular diagnostics, advanced medtech devices, imaging or clinical pathology technologies.
  2. Breakthrough point-of-care, wearable or implantable devices. For example biosensor tattoos or contact lenses that enable accurate and/or early diagnosis. This will immediately inform treatment options for the patient outside of the hospital.
  3. Tailor-made therapies or medicines designed according to each patient’s molecular diagnosis. For example, gene therapy, regenerative cell therapy, next generation immunotherapy, synthetic biology or combination therapies.
  4. Bioinformatic or artificial intelligence (AI) applications to extract digital data from medtech devices, imaging systems and/or clinical pathology platforms to rapidly inform clinical decisions.


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based SME or have registered as a UK business before the grant is awarded
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work alone; that is, the grant funding and investment cannot be split with partners

Research and technology organisations and universities cannot apply, but spin-out UK companies can apply.

Projects must start by 1 May 2019 and last up to 24 months.

Funding Costs

Projects’ total costs can be between £500,000 and £1.5 million with up to 50% funded by Innovate UK. 100% of project costs will be provided, split between Innovate UK and the investor partner.

For industrial research projects, Innovate UK will fund 50% of project costs and the investor partner will provide the remaining 50%. This funding will support the development and de-risking of new product ideas, as well as business model development, laboratory prototypes and human clinical trials.

For experimental development projects Innovate UK will fund 45% of project costs for small companies and 35% of costs for medium companies. The investor partner provides the remaining funding. The funding will support commercially usable prototypes, validation trials, experimental production processes and supply chain development.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that cover:

  • precision medicine that is outside their definition
  • technologies and ideas that are not disruptive, significant or innovative and do not lead to new solutions
  • biomarker discovery (clinical biomarker validation however is within scope)
  • diagnostic tests for treatments that are not available or still in development, unless as a companion diagnostic
  • digital health and wellness apps
  • drug discovery that is not a tailor-made or personalised therapy
  • clinical trials for tailor-made therapies beyond proof of concept studies

Read Dr Emma Richardson’s blog featuring more information regarding precision medicine and how we could help you with this competition.