SBRI Healthcare Cancer Programme – Competition 1

Key Features

The NHS Cancer Programme is launching an open call for innovation in cancer care on 17 March.

Programme:     SBRI Healthcare

Award:     Up to £15million

Opens: 17th Mar 2021

Closes: 21st Apr 2021

! This scheme is now closed


The funding competition of up to £15million, which will be delivered by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with SBRI Healthcare Cancer Programme will swiftly bring new and existing cancer care innovations to the NHS frontline.


The goal is to ensure practical translation of leading research and innovation, directly into cancer care, seeking to directly benefit patients by addressing the challenges of early detection and diagnosis along with the diagnostic efficiency of cancer services. Applications are welcomed for innovative, creative and future proof ideas across medical devices, digital health and equipment, behaviour intervention and new models of care.

This competition will accelerate future innovation in the healthcare sector, focusing on cancer. The call supports the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), which was published in January 2019. It sets out stretching ambitions and commitments to improve cancer outcomes and services in England over the next ten years.

The key ambitions in the NHS LTP for cancer are:

  • by 2028, 55,000 more people each year will survive their cancer for five years or more; and
  • by 2028, 75% of people with cancer will be diagnosed at an early stage (stage one or two).

Online Briefing

An online briefing for the challenge, including the application and assessment process will be held on Thursday, 4 March 2021. Professor Richard Gilbertson (Chair, NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Expert Advisory Group) and Professor Peter Johnson (Clinical Director of the NHS Cancer Programme) will introduce the clinical challenges currently presenting themselves in the cancer world. The Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and the Cancer Alliances will also provide further insights.


The competition invites applications for funding to implement solutions in late-stage development into the following front-line clinical cancer care settings:

  • Early detection and diagnosis of cancer
  • Diagnostic efficiency of cancer services

Funding Costs

Successful applicants may use this opportunity to gather evidence required by commissioners and regulators to make purchasing or recommendation decisions for future business. There will also be the opportunity to enable rapid national deployment/uptake of the product. The contracts awarded will be for a maximum of 18 months for up to £5million (incl. VAT), subject to justification.

Further Information

For further details of the competition, eligibility criteria, and the application and assessment process, please refer to the relevant documents on the competition page.