January 2018 sector competition: strand 1, health and life sciences

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £19 million to develop innovations in health and life sciences or emerging and enabling technologies. A further £12 million is available for KTPs.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Up to £1.4m

Opens: 22nd Jan 2018

Closes: 28th Mar 2018

! This scheme is now closed

The aim of the health and life sciences strand of this competition is to develop innovations that lead to increased agricultural productivity, enhanced food quality and sustainability or improved healthcare outcomes.

Applications need to address at least one of the following themes.

Specific themes

  1. Increasing agricultural productivity
  2. Enhancing food quality
  3. Precision medicine
  4. Medicines discovery
  5. Advanced biosciences

For more information on the above themes, click here. 


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK-based business, academic, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work, and intend to exploit the results, in the UK
    The lead organisation must claim funding through this competition. If the project is collaborative, at least one other organisation in the consortium must also claim funding.

All projects must involve an SME, and only an SME can lead projects with costs below £100k.


Project types

  • For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to 70% if you are an SME. 
  • 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 an SME. 


Up to £19m has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Up to £9.5m is allocated for strand 1, health and life sciences. Another £9.5m is allocated to emerging and enabling technologies.

Projects with costs:

  • up to and including £100k can be single or collaborative but must be led by an SME
  • over £100k must be collaborative, include a funded partner and involve an SME

Funding is available for projects:

  • with eligible costs of up to £100k that last between 6 and 12 months
  • with eligible costs of up to £2m that last between 12 and 24 months