SBRI Healthcare – Competition 20 – Autism and Learning Disabilities

Key Features

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England & NHS Improvement initiative, supported by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and managed by LGC Group. We aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice.

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     Share of up to £100,000

Opens: 23rd May 2022

Closes: 6th Jul 2022

! This scheme is now closed


Living with autism and a learning disability can be difficult for patients and their families due to significant health inequalities these communities face, including lack of access to sufficient support and care.

Despite attempts to tackle these challenges across a range of settings and services, the pressures on healthcare systems have continued to grow. This SBRI Healthcare competition seeks innovative solutions that will tackle challenges around the early detection of autism and/or learning disabilities, and around the provision of appropriate and relevant support and care equally to patients, their families and carers.

Funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement and in collaboration with Autistica, the Accelerated Access Collaborative and AHSN Network, SBRI Healthcare is pleased to announce the opening of Competition 20 for funding innovations to support care in Autism and Learning Disabilities .


The funding competition is open to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities.

Applicants are invited to submit innovative solutions to tackle three specific challenges:

  • Early identification and diagnosis
  • Health inequalities and access to care
  • Access to effective support and services

Applicants are asked to consider whether their innovation addresses any of the above challenges, 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.

Applicants are further asked to consider the impact of their innovation in addressing and/or alleviating variations currently experienced in autism and learning disability care, for example through addressing inequality in access to care, intersectionality (e.g. related to cultural/ethnic minority groups), and geographic disparities.

The COVID-19 emergency has forced changes in healthcare and applicants should consider that the baseline they need to innovate from may be different from that in January 2020. This competition is also open to supporting the further development and evaluation of technologies already introduced during this crisis.

For further information on the challenges, please see the briefing document.


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.


There are a number of technologies or types of solutions which are already available, sometimes from multiple suppliers, these are listed below. Any technologies that negatively impact staff workloads will also be excluded.

● Digital technologies that will not easily integrate or communicate with NHS/community setting systems. Some evidence of interoperability and/or work to assess this will be required.
● Technologies that do not comply with GDPR policies.
● Technologies that will increase health inequalities and inequity of access to care e.g. digital technologies that are inaccessible to certain communities that experience digital poverty

Funding Costs

The project will be 100% funded up to the value of £100,000 (NET costs, excl. VAT) for a maximum of 6 months. Project costs can include:

– Labour
– Materials
– Capital equipment
– Subcontractor
– Travel & subsistence
– Indirect

Please ensure the proposed project deliverables could be reasonably achieved within the proposed contract duration, and all requested costs are justified and represent fair market value.

Please note that SBRI is a pre-commercial procurement process and the resulting development contract is subject to VAT. VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business.

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.