SBRI: Medicines and dementia phase 1

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £240,000 inclusive of VAT, to develop disruptive, innovative solutions supporting people at risk of dementia to manage their medications.

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     Share of up to £240,000

Opens: 27th Feb 2023

Closes: 24th May 2023

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Scottish Health Industry Partnership (SHIP).


The aim of this competition is to provide an opportunity for organisations working in partnership with NHS Scotland, to develop disruptive innovative solutions. These solutions will focus on medicines and developing innovative new tools for use in clinical practice supporting people at risk of dementia to manage their medications.

Your project must focus on mid-life management for people aged 40 to 55, with risk-factors or early signs of dementia.

Your must have a ready, or nearly developed, prototype product which is ready to be deployed in a real world situation. Your project will be expected to undertake the necessary evaluations for demonstrating the technical feasibility of your product in real world situations.

For projects already at an advanced prototype stage, evidence of certification of the appropriate EN and ISO standard and regulatory approval or plans to achieve this must be provided.

You must define your goals in your application and outline your plan for phase 2. This is part of the full commercial implementation in your phase 1 application.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market. Your application must include a plan to commercialise your results and include plans to achieve regulatory compliance where required.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • identification of people utilising clinical risk factors for example cardiovascular risk factors, family history, diabetes or hypertension
  • adherence to medicines for conditions identified as being linked to development of dementia such as delirium, confusion and other risk factors that may be highlighted by the applicants which will require supporting evidence

Research Categories

Phase 1: technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

In phase 1 the project will work closely with the Test Beds to demonstrate the technical feasibility of your proposed innovation. You must formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts.

Potential phase 2: prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real-life operating conditions.

The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set. The outcome of a potential phase 2 will be a demonstration of the prototype in a representative environment.


Projects must:

  • aim to start by 1 October 2023
  • end 4 months after the agreed start date
  • work with one of the three NHS Scotland Regional Test Beds to deliver R&D services
  • provide details of certification and compliance with relevant standards, accreditation and regulatory approval for well-developed prototypes

As part of your application, you must engage with an NHS Scotland Regional Test Bed to determine the extent of their resource required to support your proposed solution. This should be considered for both Phase 1 and a potential Phase 2.

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size, registered in the UK, European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • work alone or with any other organisations as subcontractors

This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can engage specialists or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.


SBRI will not fund projects that:

  • have not identified an NHS Scotland Test Bed to work with
  • do not demonstrate significant support and engagement from potential future customers throughout the project
  • do not provide a clear route to market
  • do not address how any potentially negative outcomes, such as on the environment or society, would be managed
  • do not evidence the potential for their proposed innovation to generate positive economic or societal impact
  • would directly duplicate other UK Government, Scottish Government, NHS or EU funded initiatives you have already been funded to deliver
  • are covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions
  • do not feature plans for a demonstration in phase 2, offering users a chance to use the innovation and give feedback
  • do not include an evaluation phase, and a plan to collect information to inform a cost or benefit analysis
  • do not have plans to obtain relevant certification, compliance and regulatory approvals

Funding Costs

SHIP is investing up to £240,000, inclusive of VAT, across both phases of the competition.

A total of up to £80,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase 1 competition.

Phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £20,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 4 months. We expect to fund up to 4 projects.

Phase 2 involves up to 2 contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £80,000 inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 12 months.

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

  • adjust the provisional funding allocations between the phases
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach in order to fund a variety of projects across different technologies and themes
  • award contracts based upon total consensus scores, portfolio approach and capacity within the test beds to carry out the projects

The contract is completed at the end of the funded projects, and the successful organisation is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and suggest you seek independent advice from HMRC.

VAT registered

If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total. Your total project costs inclusive of VAT must not exceed £20,000.

Not VAT registered

If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered. Your total project costs must not exceed £20,000.

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to 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

SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.

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.