SME support to evaluate innovative medical technologies

Key Features

SMEs can apply for a share of £1.5 million to support the evaluation of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital health products.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1.5 million

Opens: 26th Nov 2018

Closes: 30th Jan 2019

! This scheme is now closed


The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) will work with Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £1.5 million in innovation projects. These will be to support developers of innovative medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital technology to evaluate their product in a real world clinical setting.


This competition is aimed at SMEs that have developed and manufactured innovative health tech, including medical devices, diagnostics and regulated digital healthcare products.

You must have gained a CE marking for your product but not marketed it in the UK for more than 5 years.

Your proposal must:

  • describe the innovative or CE-marked device
  • show how your product is likely to have a significant impact, including increasing patient access to innovative technologies where appropriate
  • demonstrate how the product meets the priority needs, such as those defined in ‘Next steps on the NHS 5 Year Forward View’
  • provide evidence that you are working with appropriate stakeholders including NICE, NHS, NIHR and AHSNs
  • outline how your study will allowing NICE to evaluate its data

Your project must:

  • focus on understanding evidence gaps and testing product performance to explain the operational impact of your product on the NHS
  • add data to the evidence base that can contribute to the health technology appraisal process, for instance by comparing the use of the new product with the current standard of care
  • involve potential breakthrough technologies
  • help improve methods and systems

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • reduce cancellations or unnecessary appointments in primary and secondary care
  • reduce the number of people that need to use A&E services
  • improve patient safety and avoid patient harm
  • speed up diagnosis, such as improving the scope of lower cost diagnostic imaging
  • enable earlier diagnosis of cancer
  • support the management of long term conditions, such as diabetes, chronic pain management, cardiovascular disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


To lead a project or work alone you must:

  • be an SME based in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • carry out your project within the NHS
  • have a product that is aligned with the specific priority healthcare areas defined in the ‘Next steps on the NHS 5 year forward view’
  • involve products that have been marketed in the UK for less than 5 years
  • be able to outline relevant discussions you have had with the main stakeholders, such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), to demonstrate the feasibility of your proposal

Funding Costs

You can apply for funding of up to 50% of your eligible project costs.

Option 1: project costs of up to £50,000

SMEs can apply for support to develop detailed and feasible plans for the collection of relevant data in a clinical setting. It is expected this will involve discussion with appropriate stakeholders such as the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Option 2: project costs of up to £250,000

SMEs can apply for support to collect and analyse real world data that helps evaluate the impact of a product. Plans must have been developed in discussion with appropriate stakeholders, such as those listed in option 1.

You can use the funding to:

  • access innovation and advisory support services, including consultancy
  • support costs related to the collection and analysis of clinical data beyond that required for standard clinical care


In this competition, they are not funding projects involving:

  • CE marked products that have been marketed in the UK for more than 5 years
  • medical devices and diagnostics that do not focus on the specific priority areas for the NHS
  • digital health products not regulated as a medical device