SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £3 million inclusive of VAT to develop products and services to support healthy ageing.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £3 million

Opens: 19th Jul 2021

Closes: 15th Sep 2021

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UKRI. The aim of the competition is to fund organisations to deliver social impact and address one or more of the 7 themes of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework

UKRI will award up to £4 million inclusive of VAT across 2 strands. These are:

  1. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures Feasibility Studies for projects with costs up to £50,000
  2. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research for projects with costs from £50,000 to £150,000 for prototype development and evaluation (this strand)


The aim of this competition is to enable businesses with a social purpose to develop and deliver innovative products and services.

Your project must:

  • address one or more of the 7 themes identified by the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework to support people as they age
  • identify a clear route to market, scalability and sustainability for your product or service
  • have a clearly identified and existing lead customer
  • demonstrate the technical, development and market feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • describe how your innovation is addressing critical social or environmental challenges
  • demonstrate a causal link between your business activities and achievement of your declared social or environmental impact
  • describe how all social impact will be measured, evidenced, and reported
  • outline your commitment to specific social outcomes, clearly identifying beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • explain how any profits after tax will be distributed so surpluses are used to achieve future social or environmental impacts
  • establish ongoing collaboration between all members of the project team
  • formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts

Products and services benefitting the general public must be accessible without restrictions and barriers such as affordability.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following 7 themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework:

  • living well with cognitive impairment
  • sustaining physical activity
  • maintaining health at work and work in later life
  • managing the common complaints of ageing
  • design for age-friendly homes
  • creating healthy active places
  • supporting social connections


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • do not have a strong social impact, focus or purpose
  • do not address any of the 7 themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework
  • include clinical trials, clinical studies, or fundamental research
  • require regulatory approval
  • do not have an existing lead customer
  • involve the development of early stage technologies


To lead a project, you must:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with other organisations as subcontractors
  • exist wholly to provide benefits for society
  • have stated commitment to social outcomes for an identified set of beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • have objects in your constitutional documents, which form a constitutional lock, that protect your social or environmental mission
  • have a policy to distribute profits after tax so surpluses are used to achieve social or environmental impacts

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity.

However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Funding Costs

Projects must:

  • start by 1 March 2022
  • end by 29 February 2024
  • have total eligible project costs from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT

Projects can last up to 24 months.

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £3 million, inclusive of VAT.

In this strand, prototyping and evaluation contracts will be awarded from £50,000 to £150,000 inclusive of VAT, for each project up to 24 months.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the provisional funding allocations
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach based on geography, themes, scale of project and sustainability

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to research and development (R&D) services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes