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Invention for Innovation

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme supports the preclinical and clinical development of medical technologies in areas of existing or emerging patient need.

Guidance on impact of COVID-19 on NIHR funded and supported research

The Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme is a translational research funding scheme aimed at de-risking early-to-late stage medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focussed digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use

We fund projects that have demonstrated proof-of-concept and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation.

i4i has three funding streams: Product Development Awards (PDA), Connect and Challenge Awards. All i4i funding streams have a two stage application process. The calls launch as follows: 

  Autumn/Winter Call Launch Spring/Summer Call Launch
Product Development Awards October April
Connect N/A August
Challenge November April

If you have a specific query regarding the eligibility of your planned study, you may submit a pre-submission engagement form. Please note, the turnaround time for a response is 72 hours.

 

Product Development Awards

i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) supports the translational research and development of medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use. The research proposals may address any disease or health area, provided there is a clear unmet clinical need. There is no upper funding limit for Product Development Awards, but costs must be fully justified.

Key eligibility criteria

  • Projects can be led by a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME), a Higher Education Institution (HEI), or an NHS provider such as a Trust.
  • Projects must be collaborative between any two of the eligible types of organisation.
  • Projects may last a minimum of 24 months and a maximum of 36 months.
  • The lead organisation must be registered in England.

For an overview of the PDA 21 competition, please watch the video here.

 What next?

PDA dates

The next competition is PDA 21. In this competition, we are partnering with EPSRC, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation to highlight our support for the development and adoption of asthma health technologies.

All disease areas will continue to be eligible for PDA 21 in the normal way. However, successful asthma-related projects, will be co-funded through the Asthma Health Technology Fund partnership. The brief for this Fund  can be found here

Call 21 Stage 1Stage 2
Webinars - Register here 8 and 14 October 2020 23 February (by invitation only)
Competition launch 20 October 2020 18 February 2021
Submission deadline 9 December 2020 (1pm) 14 April 2021 (1pm)
Submission outcome 18 February 2021 July 2021

 

Additionally, the i4i funding programme is participating in the 2020 NIHR Themed Call: ‘Injuries, accidents and urgent and emergency care’. For more information please see the specification document on the themed calls NIHR webpage.

Challenge Awards

The i4i Challenge award supports market-ready innovations by addressing the translational gap between the clinical evaluation of technologies and their adoption by funding the assessment of MedTech innovations in real-world healthcare settings. The expected output is a disruptive medical device or in vitro diagnostic test that can offer improved outcomes for NHS patients. There is no upper funding limit for the Challenge Awards, but costs must be fully justified. 

Key eligibility criteria

  • Applicants from SMEs, NHS service providers or Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are invited to apply for this funding stream. 
  • A minimum of two organisations must be involved and at least one of the collaborators must be from an NHS Service Provider (e.g. an NHS Trust).
  • Technologies must have demonstrated safety and efficacy and must have obtained or be in the process of obtaining CE marking. 
  • Project timelines can vary based on the required evidence for potential healthcare uptake and patient benefit. They may last up to 3 years, but if a longer period is needed to demonstrate long-term outcomes and a strong case is made, a duration of up to 5 years will be considered.
  • Lead applicants must be based in England.

Webinar

On 11 November 2020, we ran an excellent webinar on the i4i Challenge Awards (Call 11) alongside guest speakers from St George's NHS FT and Nottingham NHS Trust who discussed engagement with NHS providers and their R&D requirements.  

What next?

Challenge dates

The next competition is Challenge 11. In this competition, we are partnering with EPSRC, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation to highlight our support for the development and adoption of asthma health technologies. 

All disease areas will continue to be eligible for Challenge 11 in the normal way. However, successful asthma-related projects, will be co-funded through the Asthma Health Technology Fund partnership. The brief for this Fund  can be found here

Challenge 11Stage 1Stage 2
Competition launch 4 November 2020 25 March 2021
Submission deadline 12 January 2021 5 May 2021
Submission outcome 25 March 2021 July 2021

 

Additionally, the i4i funding programme is participating in the 2020 NIHR Themed Call: ‘Injuries, accidents and urgent and emergency care’.  For more information please see the specification document on the themed calls NIHR website.

i4i Challenge success rates

Connect

i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and Tier 3a digital health technologies with direct patient benefits, looking to ultimately integrate into the NHS. The funding stream aims to help SMEs reach the next stage in the development pathway to apply for further funding, in particular for an i4i Product Development Award. i4i Connect is researcher-led and does not specify topics for research.

Key eligibility criteria

  • Lead applicants to i4i Connect must be from an SME
  • Projects must be £50,000-£150,000 in value
  • Projects must be 6-12 months in duration
  • Project duration and cost must be commensurate
  • Projects need to demonstrate evidence of proof-of-concept
  • Lead applicants must be based in England

For an overview of Connect competitions, please watch the video to the left.

You can find Frequently Asked Questions from past webinars here.

 

 What next?

 

Connect dates

 

Connect 4Stage 2
Competition launch 7 October 2020
Submission deadline 28 October 2020
Submission outcome December 2020

 

Connect 5Stage 1Stage 2
Competition launch August 2021 October 2021
Submission deadline September 2021 October 2021
Submission outcome October 2021 November 2021

 

i4i Connect success rates

i4i funding committees are multidisciplinary, comprising academic, clinical and commercial experts, as well as patient and public members.

We have four committees: two for our Product Development Awards (committee A and committee B), one for our Challenge Awards, and one for Connect.

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

The committees recommend projects for funding to the Department of Health and Social Care, which approves which projects should be funded.

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.

NIHR registry of interests

Our programme director

Martin Hunt is Programme Director of NIHR Invention for Innovation.

Our selection committees

The Product Development Awards Selection Committee A is chaired by Mr Mark Kirby. View the full membership of Selection Committee A.

The Product Development Awards Selection Committee B is chaired by Mr Charles Spicer. View the full membership of Selection Committee B.

The Selection Committee for the Challenge Awards is chaired by Professor Nick LemoineView the full membership of the Challenge Awards 2019 Selection Committee.

The Selection Committee for i4i Connect is chaired by Professor Paul Sibbons. View the full membership of the Connect Selection Committee.

 Meeting minutes

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

Tel: 020 8843 8080
Email: i4i@nihr.ac.uk

Our operating hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm

Our programme team

Director of Innovation Programmes & Head of Intellectual Property
Mr Ben Patient

Assistant Director
Dr Ruth Nebauer

Head of Special Projects
Dr Ian Newington

Senior Programme Managers
Dr Sandra Nwokeoha (i4i lead)
Dr Andrew Barber
Dr Fanny Burrows
Dr Sultana Choudhry
Dr Caterina Lombardo
Mrs Paula Milton
Dr Raffaella Roncone
Dr Michelle Edye
Mr Edwin Tucker
Ms Rhanda Tajdeen
Dr Samantha Gan

Programme Managers
Dr Diana Alexieva
Dr Aayesha Hassan
Ms Diemante Normantaite

Research Officers
Mr Bryan Dar
Ms Cordelia Davey
Ms Victoria Evans
Ms Yvette Arku-Nelson

Senior Administrator
Mrs Heather Martingell

NIHR Central Commissioning Facility
Grange House
15 Church Street
Twickenham TW1 3NL

Latest news about Invention for Innovation

Latest funding opportunities for Invention for Innovation

Invention for Innovation - Challenge Awards Call 11

The i4i Challenge award supports innovations by addressing the translational gap between the clinical evaluation of technologies and their adoption by funding the assessment of MedTech innovations in real-world healthcare settings.

Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award - Phases 1-4

The Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award supports innovators and technologies across the spectrum of development, from concept through to initial NHS adoption and testing of the AI technology within clinical pathways.

Invention for Innovation - Product Development Awards Call 21

i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) supports the translational research and development of medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use.

All i4i funding opportunities

Latest documents for Invention for Innovation

NIHR Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions (AIM): Research Collaborations Stage 2 Guidance for Applicants

NIHR Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions (AIM): Research Collaborations Stage 2 Guidance for Applicants

i4i Connect 4 Sub-Committee Minutes

i4i Connect 4 Sub-Committee Minutes

Invention for Innovation Product Development Award - Frequently Asked Questions

Questions frequently asked by applicants to the Invention for Innovation Product Development Award.

Asthma Health Technology Fund - Brief

Brief for applicants to the Asthma Health Technology Grand Challenge Fund, supported by the NIHR Invention for Innovation programme, Asthma UK, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

All i4i documents

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Advice for i4i applicants

i4i PDA - Frequently Asked Questions

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i4i Connect - Business Plan FAQs

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Programme director Martin Hunt on the i4i Challenge Award on Real World Implementation

 martin hunt i4i showcase
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