Precision medicine: impacting through innovative technology

Key Features

UK businesses and research and technology organisations can apply for a share of £6 million to develop precision medicine technologies.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Receive up to £1.4m

Opens: 11th Sep 2017

Closes: 25th Oct 2017

! This scheme is now closed

The focus of this competition is to support the development of precision medicine technologies.

Innovate UK defines precision medicine as better targeting of treatments for patients by combining clinical knowledge with advances in diagnostic techniques and data analysis. Precision medicine is also referred to as stratified medicine or personalised medicine.

Applicants may focus either on:

  • feasibility to help companies assess the research, development and adoption issues their concept will need to address and the likelihood of success
  • research and development to help companies develop and trial precision medicine technology

Feasibility studies

Applicants must be able to analyse and evaluate your concept’s potential, identify the requirements and resources needed to develop the technology, and establish the prospects of success.

A project can focus on feasibility studies or industrial research.

The work undertaken during a feasibility study can vary, but could cover:

1. Clarifying the value proposition of the concept to help healthcare providers and other customers to understand its attractiveness. This could include determining:

  • patient and end user needs
  • the required changes to patient pathways
  • commissioning and procurement options
  • health economics
  • adoption drivers

2. Initial technical activities including areas such as:

  • developing prototypes and proofs of concept
  • collecting further data on the use of biomarkers to distinguish between different patient groups
  • refining algorithms to improve patient stratification

3. Assessing the required levels of technical performance to be a success, covering areas such as:

  • analytical performance
  • diagnostic sensitivity and specificity

4. Determining what information will need to be collated from a regulatory or health technology assessment perspective.

These projects will allow companies to map out and understand the technical, operational, clinical, regulatory and adoption challenges they will need to meet.

Research and development

For research and development applications, you can develop and trial precision medicine technologies. Projects may focus on industrial research or experimental development, depending on the challenge identified. It can have work packages in different research categories if necessary. Applicants should evidence your understanding of the potential mitigation strategies for the technical, operational, clinical, regulatory and adoption challenges related to the project.

Project must look to advance precision medicine by guiding decision-making using one of the following approaches:

  • Developing tools to better integrate informatics and data.
  • Establishing precision medicine clinical trials.
  • Developing rapid diagnostics to inform better treatment decisions.

It is encouraged for applicants to work with the appropriate UK organisation in your area of precision medicine, such as:

  • Academic Health
  • Science Networks
  • Catapults and other research and technology organisations
  • the molecular pathology nodes supported by the MRC and EPSRC
  • Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives (soon to be MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives)
  • market access companies

It must be made clear how your proposed technology will advance precision medicine.


Specific competition themes

Feasibility proposals must offer innovative precision medicine technologies that improve the decision-making process for patient treatment selection. These should include project plans that demonstrate you intend to look at areas such as:

  • performing initial technical activities
  • clarifying the value proposition of the concept
  • working with the relevant organisation and groups to develop a clear understanding of the technical, operational, clinical and regulatory requirements, and the adoption challenges for your technology
    determining the requirements of the regulatory and health technology
  • assessment process that would be most relevant to their product or service
  • analysing the progress that has already made to produce a clear development plan

Research and development proposals must attempt to develop and trial innovative precision medicine technologies that improve the decision-making process for patient treatment selection. They must meet the scope by either:

  • developing tools to better integrate informatics and data
  • establishing precision medicine clinical trials
  • developing rapid diagnostics to inform better treatment decisions

All research and development proposals must demonstrate a clear understanding of market potential, routes to market, intellectual property issues and commercialisation strategies.



All projects must involve at least one SME. A business must lead be the lead in feasibility study projects. A business or research and technology organisation can lead a research and development project.

Feasibility projects:

  • must have total project costs up to £100,000
  • can be from a single SME or an SME working with other businesses or research organisations
  • must be led by a UK-based SME
    must be completed within one year

Research and development projects must:

  • have total project costs that range in size from £1 million to £2 million
  • be collaborative and include at least 2 grant-claiming organisations
  • be led by a UK based company or RTO of any size
  • be completed within 2 years


Funding and project details

There is up to £6 million available to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Your project can focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development. This will depend on the challenge.

Feasibility projects can be up to £100,000. Research and development projects can range from £1 million to £2 million.

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

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get up to 45% of your eligible project costs if you are an SME.