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Invention for Innovation Connect call 3 - expression of interest live FAQ session



The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme has launched its third round of i4i Connect awards - aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach their next stage in developing their medical technology.

The i4i team held a live FAQ webinar on Friday 16 August 2019 for potential applicants to call 3 of i4i Connect.

This document summarises the questions and answers from the webinar.

You may also be interested in the guidance for applicants and the top tips for writing your i4i expression of interest.


Q: Are i4i Connect applications treated as confidential?

A: All applications submitted to the i4i Scheme are confidential. The title and outcome of your application will be included in minutes on the NIHR website following the Committee meeting(s).

Q: What are the rules about applying for both i4i connect and other calls in future?

A: There is no limit to how many applications you can submit to i4i funding streams. Please note any application to a previous call and its outcome within the application form.

Q: Are Non-UK partners eligible for i4i Connect?

A: This will be judged on a case by case basis and the applicants will need to provide good justification as to why a non-UK partner is essential for project success.

Project specific

Q: Is it necessary to include a collaborating partner for i4i Connect?

A: There is no requirement to have a formal collaborator for an i4i Connect project although it is allowed. It is recommended that applicants might consider partners important to the development of the technology. Applicants seeking post-award i4i PDA funding will be expected to include at least one collaborator in their application.

Q: Is it advantageous to have an NHS partner for i4i Connect?

A: One of the assessment criteria for i4i Connect is the strength of the project team. It is therefore advisable to include co-applicants, collaborators and subcontractors that will enable you to most effectively deliver your proposed project.

Q: Do I need confirmation that my project is in scope before being allowed to submit an application?

A: We encourage applicants to submit project ideas via our pre-submission engagement form to confirm that their project is within scope, however this is not a pre-requisite. Please use the CCF Research Management System to submit your i4i Connect application.

Q: Does i4i Connect support projects in the proof of concept phase?

A: i4i Connect funds projects at any stage of the medical development pathway, including proof of concept.

Q: Is it a requirement for the medical technology being developed to be adopted by and sold to the NHS?

A: The NIHR's mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation, and applicants to i4i Connect are expected to have an NHS adoption strategy. We understand that companies might additionally intend to commercialise their technology internationally.

Q: Does our product need to have IP protection before submitting to i4i?

A: Protection of background IP will strengthen your application. It will be advantageous to describe how background and foreground IP will be managed and protected during your project, and its intended ownership. i4i Connect will fund activities associated with IP protection, freedom to operate etc.


Q: How are SMEs paid during their i4i Connect project?

A: The Company submits monthly invoices to the i4i Secretariat throughout the project, which are paid one month in arrears. This is standard for i4i awards where the SME is the Lead Applicant.

Q: What costs are eligible to be covered by the i4i Connect award?

A: The i4i Connect award will cover most costs associated with a project including direct and indirect costs but excluding animal studies and equipment costing in excess of £5,000. Please see the i4i programme finance guidance for further information.

Q: If your project total cost is under the maximum budget of £150,000 are you still eligible to apply to i4i Connect?

A: i4i Connect supports projects of between 6-12 months duration and £50,000 - £150,000 project cost. We encourage applicants to consider all eligible activities required for a successful project outcome.

Q: Can i4i Connect funds be used to pay for subcontractors (e.g. market research)?

A: Funds can be used for subcontractors and business activities listed in the i4i Connect guidance, which includes market analysis.