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Invention for Innovation


The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme is a translational research funding scheme aimed at medical devices, in vitro diagnostic devices and digital health technologies addressing an existing or emerging health or social care need. 

i4i is now open to the whole UK

We're excited to announce that the NIHR i4i programme is now accepting applications from researchers and organisations based in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, in addition to applications from England. This change will be effective starting autumn 2023.  We are looking forward to receiving applications from across the UK.

i4i funding

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

The i4i programme has three funding streams: Product Development Awards (PDA)Challenge Awards and Connect. PDA and Challenge Awards are run twice a year, whereas Connect is run once a year. 

i4i FAST (Funding At the Speed of Translation) is a new funding scheme aimed at innovators in need of a small amount of funding to answer a specific question or to fund a single piece of activity. Please note that the FAST funding scheme is closed to new applications.

If you have any specific concerns about whether your proposal is eligible for i4i funding, please submit an enquiry form.  

NIHR 2023 Themed call on reducing compound pressures on the NHS and social care

The i4i programme is participating in the NIHR-wide themed call on reducing compound pressures, focusing on generating high-quality research evidence into the evaluation of health and care interventions and services to reduce compound pressures on the NHS and social care. More information can be found in the compound pressures commissioning brief.

Addiction Mission: Innovation for Treatment and Recovery (AMI) Awards

i4i, in collaboration with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS), is inviting applications to the Addiction Mission: Innovation for Treatment and Recovery (AMI) Awards. Proposals must create valuable, innovative tools to help treat people with opioid or cocaine addictions and aid in their recovery.

The AMI Awards are a two-stage call inviting applications for projects up to 36 months in duration, with no upper funding limit. The call will be open to all organisations which are UK legal entities, regardless of size or sector, that have an innovative solution to improve patient outcomes in addiction healthcare and recovery. 


i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support collaborative research and development of medical devices, in vitro diagnostic devices and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for use in the NHS or social care system. The expected focus of a PDA is product development required to enable a technology for clinical use or use in social care and/or the clinical development of a laboratory-validated technology or intervention. The research proposals may address any area of unmet need. Projects must have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation. 

  • Entry point: Experimental proof-of-concept or laboratory validated technology
  • Exit point: Laboratory and/or clinically validated technology
  • How much: No upper funding limit, but all costs must be fully justified
  • How long: Maximum project duration is 3 years

Read more about the PDA scope, requirements and funded activities in our PDA supporting information and PDA FAQs. To help prepare your application please see the applicant guidance for PDA stage 1 and PDA stage 2. Research proposals are submitted through the Research Management System (RMS).

i4i PDA success rates


i4i Challenge Awards support the real-world evaluation of medical devices, in vitro diagnostic devices and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for us in the NHS or social care system. The i4i Challenge Awards provide funding for collaborative projects with a focus on implementation research on technologies which have demonstrated safety and efficacy, and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation.

  • Entry point: Technologies which have regulatory approval or demonstrated equivalent safety and efficacy
  • Exit point: Performance of technologies evaluated in a real-world setting
  • How much: No upper funding limit, but costs must be fully justified
  • How long: Project duration is up to 3 years, extendable to 5 years with strong justification

Read more about the Challenge scope, requirements and funded activities in our Challenge supporting Information. To prepare your application please see our Challenge Stage 1 applicant guidance and Challenge Stage 2 application guidance. Research proposals are submitted through the Research Management System (RMS)

i4i Challenge success rates


i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for use in the NHS or social care system. 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.

  • Entry pointThe minimum entry point is experimental proof-of-concept or laboratory-validated technology, however, proposals may be submitted for progressing innovations at any stage of the research and development pathway leading to implementation
  • Exit point: Reaching the next stage in the development pathway
  • How much: £50,000 - £150,000
  • How long: 6-12 month period

Read more about the Connect scope, requirement and funded activities in our Connect Expression of Interest supporting information for applicants, and Connect FAQs. To help prepare your application, please see the the Connect Expression of Interest guidance for applicants (stage 1) and the Connect Business Plan guidance for applicants (stage 2). Research proposals are submitted online through the Research Management System (RMS).

i4i Connect success rates

Our people

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 that 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

Mike Lewis is a joint Programme Director of NIHR Invention for Innovation and SBRI Healthcare programmes.

Our selection committees

The Product Development Awards Selection Committee A is chaired by Ms Emma Palmer Foster. 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 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

Contact us

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

Our operating hours are 9am to 5pm

Programme team

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

Assistant Director, Innovation Programmes
Dr Ruth Nebauer

Assistant Director, Innovations
Dr Ian Newington

Assistant Director and Head of Innovation and Enterprises
Dr Raffaella Roncone

Senior Programme Managers 
Dr Andrew Barber
Ms Ami Hodges
Dr Caterina Lombardo
Dr Michelle Edye
Mr Edwin Tucker 
Dr Silvana Cossins
Mr Luis Tojo
Dr Maryam Tamaddon
Dr Laura Tornotore

Programme Managers

Dr Rebecca Stevens
Dr Francesca Troiani
Mr Alex Zabala-Findlay
Dr Antonio Ruiz
Ms Kasia Zmarzly
Mr Fergus Morris
Ms Eva Garritsen

Operations team

Operations Manager
Ms Lisa Kelly

Senior Research Officers
Mr Bryan Dar
Ms Grace O'Toole

Research Officers
Mrs Tanya McQueen
Ms Harkerat Jandu
Ms Elena Sundle
Mr Sam Howes

Ms Frances O'Farrell

Contact us

Grange House
15 Church Street
Twickenham TW1 3NL

Do you need help getting started? Contact the Research Support Service.

Do you need assistance running your study in the NHS? Contact the Study Support Service.

Advice for i4i applicants