UK-South Korea Digital Health CRD

Key Features

£3 million is available for UK registered SMEs and eligible partners from Innovate UK and Medical Research Council for business led R&D projects, delivering industrial innovation through academic collaboration in Digital Health, for the UK and South Korea

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £3 million

Opens: 19th Jun 2023

Closes: 2nd Aug 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) to invest up to £3 million in innovation projects.


The aim of this competition is to fund business led, collaborative, research and development (CR&D) projects. Projects must aim to deliver economic, knowledge and health benefit through industrial innovation and academic collaboration in the area of Digital Health for the UK and South Korea.

Projects must meet the stated requirements of MRC and Innovate UK as set out in this brief and that of Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) as set out in their published brief.

Your project must demonstrate:

  • a clear game changing or disruptive innovative idea linked to knowledge generation which contributes towards our understanding of human health conditions and leading to new products, processes or services
  • improvement to the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of significant health needs
  • meaningful collaboration and transfer of knowledge between academic, RTO and business project partners
  • a clear, evidence based business case that addresses and documents market potential and needs and that sets out the return on investment
  • a strong and deliverable business that includes sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK and MRC funding decisions
  • clear potential to benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefits to participants from the countries working together
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion

UKRI is committed to ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted Research and Innovation (TRI) is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TRI Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As funded projects will involve working with international partners, you are encouraged to read these principles and familiarise yourself with the resources referenced.

UKRI may request additional information regarding your plan to ensure safe international collaboration if your application is considered to be relevant to this policy.

Your project must demonstrate its alignment with UKRI’s Ethical Research policies. Applicants must in particular adhere to UKRI’s ethical policies involving animal use in research.

Your project must focus on digital health. This may include digital tools, technologies, and solutions to improve health. These technologies include a wide range of devices, software, and platforms that leverage digital and mobile technologies.

Examples of areas of focus include:

  • developing tools for improving analysis of medical imaging or data for clinical diagnosis, risk identification, patient stratification and disease monitoring
  • data platforms for better integration of electronic health records, including opportunities for the use of data for further research
  • tools to support point-of-care diagnosis and surveillance modelling
  • digital tools to support management of diseases and delivery of psychological therapies

This list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Any digital health project must align with Innovate UK, MRC and KHIDI remits.


Your project must:

  • have a maximum grant funding request of no more than £750,000
  • start by 1st November 2023
  • end by 30 April 2026
  • last between 24 and 30 months

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

The consortium must include at least two eligible organisations registered in South Korea that are separate, non-linked entities.

Your South Korean partners will not receive any of this UK competition funding. South Korean partners will be funded by KHIDI.

South Korean partners must be separately listed in the application to KHIDI. Only UK registered partners must be listed in the Project Partner section of this application.

All organisations in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Projects must have a balanced partnership with balanced contributions to the project. The total eligible project costs including grant funding and matched contributions should be distributed proportionately among the partners from the participating partner countries.

Your total project costs should be broadly the same as those of the South Korean component of the project, ensuring an approximate balanced sharing of project costs across the two sides of the project.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

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

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with a UK registered academic or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • collaborate with at least two eligible South Korean registered organisations, which must be separate non-linked entities to the UK project partners

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • academic institution
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service. South Korean partners must not be invited into Innovate UK’s application on the Innovation Funding Service.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other eligible UK organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and are limited to no more than 20% of the total eligible costs of the UK participation.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

A UK SME can only lead on one application. If leading one application, a UK SME can be included as a collaborator in one further application.

A UK SME that is not leading an application can collaborate on up to 2 applications.

A UK registered academic institution or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • deliver any non-civilian applications
  • deliver dual use intellectual property (IP)
  • are not in scope
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria
  • do not submit all mandatory documentation
  • have a grant request of more than £750,000 from Innovate UK

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £3 million for UK partners to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation

South Korean counterparts must apply to Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) for a matched amount of funding for the South Korean component of the project. The South Korean component of the project cannot be used for any of the project costs in your UK application. Successful South Korean partners will be funded by KHIDI.

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

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.