SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products and services that address unmet health needs, announced a it will distribute £5 million of government investment to support small business this year.
The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) healthcare competitions provide seed funding for the development of novel solutions to major healthcare challenges. In this new round of competitions, SBRI Healthcare will be looking for companies specifically focused on driving towards better health outcomes for patients across seven categories; Cancer, Cardiovascular, COPD, Diabetes, Mental Health/Dementia, Patient Safety and Research Tools.
The Prime Minister’s UK Strategy for Health Innovation and Life Sciences - Innovation, Health and Wealth* (IHW) - set the approach for innovation in the reformed NHS, making a commitment to double investment in the SBRI programme to address healthcare challenges, encourage greater competition in procurement of services and drive growth in the UK Small and Medium size Enterprises (SME) sector.
Investing £17.6 million to date in support of 66 SMEs, the further £5 million in funding is recognition of the value small businesses bring to the NHS to help them deliver new technologies to patients and for these to be adopted widely across the NHS.
Miles Ayling, Director of Innovation, NHS England
“Innovation Health and Wealth set out the agenda to spread best practice across the NHS whilst at the same time supporting economic growth and wealth creation. The Small Business Research Initiative is a way for NHS England to generate a pipeline of new ideas and technologies with predominantly small to medium sized companies. The ideas in this sector are often highly innovative and exciting – bringing a step change to the way the NHS can deliver quality care for patients. In Innovation Health and Wealth the NHS set out to double the investment in SBRI – NHS England has already committed £5m this year and today’s competition launch will support industry with a further £5m investment.”
Sir Mike Rawlins, Chair of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN), who lead the programme on behalf of NHS England commented:
“The NHS is a great market place for new technology companies. Through the SBRI programme we can find new ways of solving old problems – which benefit patients and support business growth. In the NHS we have world leading clinical expertise and through programmes such as SBRI Healthcare we can work with business experts to maximise the benefit to the NHS and the economy.”
Peter Ellingworth OBE, Chair of the SBRI Management Board and Chief Executive of the Association of British Healthcare Industries welcomed the new competition:
“The med tech industry is an important success story for the UK economy. Many companies already work closely with the NHS but the SBRI programme supports new partnerships to develop and succeed. Through SBRI the companies can gain funding but also the expert support of the NHS to develop products that are truly reflecting NHS need. I hope many companies take a good look and apply for this programme.”
The competition theme areas have been chosen in partnership with the newly designated Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England. The programme management is led by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England and other AHSNs. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.