Small businesses pitch for £2.5 million funding as SBRI Healthcare launches new competition


SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products that address unmet health needs, today launched the latest SBRI Healthcare competition which aims to accelerate development and NHS adoption of new technologies. In the second tranche of funding this year, a further £2.5 million is on offer to companies working in the priority healthcare areas; Brain Injury; Child and Adolescent Mental Health; Diabetic Foot Ulcers; Imaging; and Outpatient Services.


The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare works with leading healthcare players to identify priority areas where technology can be applied to address major healthcare challenges. The programme focuses on clearly identified NHS needs, bringing clinicians and business together at an early stage to harness the expertise of SMEs to develop effective solutions. Successful projects are fully funded through three phases of development - proof of concept, product development and delivery in the marketplace.

“The SBRI Healthcare is creating new jobs, helping to develop strong businesses and bringing new solutions to solve identified NHS challenges that aren’t currently being met,” commented Karen Livingstone, Director of SBRI Healthcare. “It is fantastic to see such promise at a relatively early stage in the development cycle of many of the new technologies. Early evaluation of this approach shows the products developed save lives and NHS resources and we look forward to seeing the fuller impact of the programme as more products reach the patient.”

The competition theme areas have been chosen in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), and supporting bodies, across England. For this programme these are; Brain Injury - North East & North Cumbria AHSN with Eastern AHSN and the Brain Injury Health Technology Cooperative; Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - West of England and Imperial AHSNs; Diabetic Foot Ulcers - Knowledge Transfer Network with East Midlands AHSN; Imaging - UCL Partners AHSN with Cambridge University Health Partners;  Outpatients Services - Yorkshire & Humber AHSN.

The competition closes on 09 December 2014, with winners announced in March 2015. Briefing events for business to learn about the competition will take place on 11 November (London) and 13 November (Leeds). To find out more visit


About SBRI Healthcare

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), whose role is to promote UK economic growth by spreading innovation and best practice across the NHS. The SBRI Healthcare competitions are launched on a biannual basis and result in fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and NHS England to meet known healthcare need.

Generally taking a three-phased development approach, projects start with a 6 month feasibility phase and can then move on to more detailed product development. Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million over one year. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings. While the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology, its intellectual property (IP) remains with the company, thereby enabling successful businesses to grow.

Funding for SBRI Healthcare has been secured from NHS England. The programme is directed by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) on behalf of NHS England and the other regional AHSNs. Health Enterprise East is the management partner and supports the EAHSN to handle the applications, assessments and delivery against contracts.

Previous SBRI Healthcare competitions have called for technological and innovative solutions to, for example, change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases, how to live well with dementia and improved medicine management.

About Academic Health Science Networks

Academic Health Science Networks, of which there are 15 regionally based, have been recently designated to provide a systematic delivery mechanism for the local NHS, universities, public health and social care to work with industry to transform the identification, adoption and spread of proven innovations and best practice. SBRI Healthcare competition theme areas are chosen in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks across England. The programme management is led by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network on behalf of NHS England.

About Health Enterprise East and Competition details

Health Enterprise East Limited (HEE) is the NHS Innovation Hub for the East of England, and assists with accelerating the development and uptake of innovative MedTech products and services that improve the quality of healthcare delivery.

Having pioneered and successfully run the initiative for the East of England since its launch in 2009, HEE now oversees the national SBRI Healthcare programme bringing together businesses, the healthcare industry and the NHS. Information on future competitions can be found on the SBRI Healthcare and the Health Enterprise East websites.



SBRI Healthcare
Chris Armstrong
Health Enterprise East
Phone: +44 (0) 1223 597813

Media contact
Sarah Jeffery
Zyme Communications
Phone: +44 (0) 7771 730919


Health Enterprise East (HEE) delivers technology advisory and innovation management services to industry and the NHS.

Health Enterprise East