SBRI Health Inequalities in Maternity Care – Phase 2

Key Features

Organisations can apply for up to £500,000 (NET cost, excl. VAT) per project. Projects must be innovative solutions developed with women, babies, and families at their heart, which empower women to be at the centre of their care. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the technology/solution will address any challenges associated with health inequalities, such as demographic and geographic disparities.

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     £500,000 per project

Opens: 10th Jul 2023

Closes: 11th Aug 2023

! This scheme is now closed


While the UK remains a comparatively safe place to give birth, maternity care is challenged by growing health inequalities, with women from minority ethnic groups and those living in the most socially deprived areas more likely to experience adverse outcomes of pregnancy.

Women from ethnic minority groups are more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth and are also at increased risk of poor pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, miscarriage, and pre-term birth.

Funded by NHS England through the Accelerated Access Collaborative, in partnership with the AHSN Network, SBRI Healthcare announced the opening of Competition 20 in May 2022 for innovations to address inequalities in Maternity Care.

Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible to apply for Phase 2.


This competition seeks to address 3 key challenges and aims to identify innovative solutions which can be adopted by the NHS, taking into account the systemic complexity and recognising some of the important influences on care delivery in these areas:

  1. Perinatal Mental Health
  2. Support to Women post-discharge
  3. Risk identification, stratification, and intervention

Applicants are asked to consider the impact of their innovation on the whole system and to be aware of the competitive environment, even considering working together with other companies and organisations to bring forward solutions that can make a real difference. Health inequality is a core component of this competition, and equity of access and experience should therefore be a central pillar of any successful innovation.

Those submitting applications will need to provide information on the following key criteria:

  • How will the proposed solution impact the care system and how will the system need to be changed (including people, processes and culture) in order to deliver system-wide benefits?
  • How will you ensure that the innovation will be acceptable to patients (and their families and wider support network) and to health and social care workers? How could these groups be involved in the design of a solution and its development?
  • How will you ensure that the innovation is affordable to the NHS and wider systems such as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) both immediately and throughout the life of the product? What evidence, both health economics and delivery of true impact will the NHS and wider system require before the technology can be adopted?
  • How will you ensure that the innovation enhances equity of access (e.g. takes account of underserved ethnic or economic groups) and increases engagement with vulnerable groups?
  • How will your innovation support the NHS commitment to reach net zero carbon? You will be asked to provide information on the steps you have taken to identify the carbon pathway and the consequences of the proposed solution on carbon emissions.


The competition is open to single organisations (contracts are executed with individual legal entities) based in the UK or EU from the private, public, and third sectors, including companies (large corporates and small and medium enterprises), charities, universities and NHS Foundation Trusts, as long as a strong commercial strategy is provided. Organisations based outside the UK or EU with innovations in remit for this call can apply as subcontractors of a lead UK/EU based organisation or via a UK or EU subsidiary. Collaborations are encouraged in the form of subcontracted services as appropriate.

Phase 2

Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1. Only those projects that have completed Phase 1 successfully will be eligible for Phase 2. The development contracts awarded in Phase 2 will be for a maximum of 12 months and up to £500,000 (NET cost, excl. VAT) per project.

Developments will be 100% funded and suppliers for each project will be selected by an open competition process and retain the intellectual property rights (IPR) generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the NHS.


Phase 2 Competition Launch – 10 July 2023 9:00 am

Phase 2 Webinar – 18 July 2023

Deadline to Apply Phase 2 – 11 August 2023

Panel Phase 2 – 19 September 2023

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.