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Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award

The Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award supports solutions addressing the strategic aims of the NHS Long Term Plan across the whole development pathway, from initial feasibility to clinical implementation.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health and Care Award is run in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative and NHSX.  It is part of the NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab announced by the Health Secretary in 2019, and will deploy £140m over three years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies that meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

 If you have an idea for a project and would like to discuss it, we strongly encourage you to submit a pre-submission engagement form

What do we fund?

We will support AI technologies across the spectrum of development, from initial feasibility to evaluation within clinical pathways in the NHS and social care settings, to the point that they could be nationally commissioned. Key areas of focus include screening, diagnosis, decision support and system efficiency. Applications may be submitted by an SME, an NHS Trust or service provider or a Higher Education Institution.

When is funding available?

Competitions will be run at least twice yearly through an open process to identify appropriate AI technologies. See the dates for our funding competitions.

The first call of the AI Health and Care Award is now open to applications.

A series of webinars are being held for applicants to call 1, to address queries about the AI Award and application process. The dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday 4 February, 11:00 - 12:00 - join here
  • Tuesday 11 February, 11:00 - 12:00 - join here
  • Tuesday 18 February, 11:00 - 12:00 - join here
  • Tuesday 25 February, 11:00 - 12:00  - join here

Slides from the webinar are available to download.

How do I apply?

Phases 1-3 are run in a two stage application process. At stage 1 a simple Expression of Interest form needs to be completed, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal at stage 2. Please see the applicant guidance for Phase 1-3 to find out more.

Phase 4 is run in one stage. Please see the applicant guidance for Phase 4 to find out more.

Applicants considering submitting a proposal can submit an outline for guidance on remit and eligibility before official submission. This can be done using the pre-submission engagement form. This is non-mandatory and purely aimed at helping potential applicants to engage with the requirements of the competition.

Applications should be submitted online through the Research Management System. You can download an example application form for Phase 1-3 and Phase 4 to prepare your proposal ahead of submission. Further information is available in our frequently asked questions.



  Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
Location of lead applicant Within the UK

Location of partners Can be outside the UK provided there is reasonable justification and a clear trajectory of NHS benefit


Higher education institutions

Small and medium sized enterprises

NHS organisations


Higher education institutions

Small and medium sized enterprises

NHS organisations


Large enterprises

Collaboration Not required but encouraged Minimum of two different organisations types must collaborate Minimum of two different organisation types must collaborate, one must be NHS organisation 3-5 NHS or social care adoption sites (support will be provided by the AAC delivery team)
Funding limit Up to £150,000 Uncapped but costs must be sufficiently justified and proposals must provide value for money

Duration 6-12 months 12-36 months 12-24 months 12-36 months

Applications may fall within one of these four development phases:

  • Phase 1 is intended to show the technical and clinical feasibility of the proposed concept, product or service. Awards are for a maximum of £150,000 over a 6-12 month period.
  • Phase 2 is intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration units and generate early clinical safety and efficacy data. Award amounts are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-36 months.
  • Phase 3 is intended to support first real-world testing in health and social care settings to develop further evidence of efficacy and preliminary proof of effectiveness, including evidence for routes to implementation to enable more rapid adoption. Awards are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-24 months.
  • Phase 4 is intended to identify medium stage AI technologies that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. We will support testing and evaluation of these technologies within routine clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy, and clinical and economic impact. Grants are uncapped, funding awards are per technology.

Phases 1-3 aim to create a pipeline of products, interventions and services which are ready for wider testing and will be delivered through the well-established and robust mechanisms underpinning the i4i and SBRI Healthcare programmes, with an indicative budget of £2-7m in the first year. This early stage pipeline will be managed by the NIHR Invention for Innovation and SBRI Healthcare Programme Management Office in close collaboration with the AAC Delivery Team.

Through Phase 4 the AAC Delivery Team will facilitate initial systems adoption of the AI technologies into the NHS and/or social care setting, with an indicative budget of £10m in the first year.

The Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award is a national competition with applications reviewed by a national multi-disciplinary funding panel and assessor pool comprising specialist technical, clinical and commercial experts and patient and public representatives.

Expert assessors and panel members review all stage 1 and stage 2 applications and make funding recommendations based on the quality of applications, with support from public and expert peer reviewers.

Members of NIHR Committees are required to declare any interests which conflict, or may be considered to conflict, with NIHR business, or may be perceived as influencing decisions made in the course of their work within NIHR programmes. All members are asked to complete the Register of Interest form (annually), which is intended to capture long term predictable interests that could be perceived to lead to conflicts of interest. These and other interests are judged on a case by case basis at individual meetings.

See the NIHR registry of interests.

We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the application process. If in doubt, please get in touch.

Tel: 020 8843 8143
Our operating hours are 9am to 5pm.

Our programme team


Assistant Director

Dr Ruth Nebauer

Head of Special Projects

Dr Ian Newington

Senior Programme Managers

Dr Fanny Burrows
Dr Andrew Barber
Dr Emma Blamont
Dr Samantha Gan
Dr Caterina Lombardo
Mrs Paula Milton
Dr Sandra Nwokeoha
Dr Raffaella Roncone
Mr Edwin Tucker