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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-focused 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), Challenge Awards and Connect. PDA and Challenge run two funding competitions a year, launching in autumn and spring, whereas Connect runs one funding competition each year. See the full dates for i4i funding competitions. All i4i funding streams have a two-stage application process. Identical applications are not permissable to be submitted to multiple open competitions.
|Funding stream||Autumn/Winter competition launch||Spring/Summer competition launch|
|Product Development Awards||October||April|
|Connect||n/a||March / April|
If you have a specific query regarding the eligibility of your planned study, please submit a pre-engagement form. Please note, the turnaround time for a response is 72 hours.
The Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme, alongside Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programmes, invite applications led by, or in collaboration with, industry seeking to develop, refine and evaluate predictive algorithms using artificial intelligence (AI) for health and social care. If you would like to apply for this call and your proposal is in remit for i4i PDA, please apply through PDA 24 once the call launches. More information, including the research specification can be found on the funding opportunities page.
The new i4i FAST (Funding At the Speed of Translation) funding scheme ran a pilot scheme in 2022. FAST supports applications of between £15k and £50k that will answer a specific question, fund a single piece of activity or fill a specific evidence gap across all technology readiness levels. Please read the applicant guidance for further detail. The pilot is now closed for evaluation.
In November 2021, i4i launched a standalone stream - Dementia: Digital approaches for early detection, diagnosis and stratification. Stage 2 is now closed, with outcomes in August 2022. You can find more details in the research specification.
The i4i programme is participating in the NIHR-wide themed call on Sustainability, focusing on supporting the UK's ambition to deliver a 'net zero' NHS and meet the goals of the COP26 summit. More information can be found on the Themed call webpage.
i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support 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.
|Competition 23||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Webinar||20 October 2021 (11am-12pm)||TBC|
|Competition launch||20 October 2021||17 February 2022|
|Submission deadline||8 December 2021 (1pm)||13 April 2022 (1pm)|
|Submission outcome||17 February 2022||July 2022|
|Competition 24||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Webinar||28 February 2022 (2-3.30pm)||-|
|Competition launch||23 March 2022||9 August 2022|
|Submission deadline||10 May 2022||28 September 2022 (1pm)|
|Submission outcome||9 August 2022||December 2022|
i4i Challenge Awards support 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.
|Competition 13||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Webinar||2 November 2021 (11am-12pm)||TBC|
|Competition launch||4 November 2021||23 March 2022|
|Submission deadline||12 January 2022||11 May 2022|
|Submission outcome||23 March 2022||June 2022|
|Competition 14||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Competition launch||21 April 2022||5 August 2022|
|Submission deadline||1 June 2022 (1pm)||22 September 2022 (1pm)|
|Submission outcome||5 August 2022||December 2022|
i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and Tier C 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.
The next Connect competition will be competition 6.
|Connect 6||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Competition launch||30 March 2022||18 May 2022|
|Submission deadline||27 April 2022 (1pm)||8 June 2022 (1pm)|
|Submission outcome||18 May 2022||July 2022|
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.
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 Lemoine. View 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.
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 9.00am to 5.00pm
Director of Innovation Programmes and Head of Intellectual Property
Mr Ben Patient
Dr Ruth Nebauer
Head of Special Projects
Dr Ian Newington
Innovation and Enterprises
Dr Raffaella Roncone
Senior Programme Managers
Dr Andrew Barber
Dr Fanny Burrows
Ms Ami Hodges
Dr Caterina Lombardo
Mrs Paula Milton
Dr Michelle Edye
Mr Edwin Tucker
Ms Rhanda Tajdeen
Dr Xi Ye
Dr Silvana Cossins
Dr Rebecca Stevens
Dr Francesca Troiani
Senior Research Officers
Mr Bryan Dar
Mrs Tanya Dixey
Ms Cordelia Davey
Ms Grace O'Toole
Ms Harkerat Jandu
Ms Simisola Akin-Oke
15 Church Street
Twickenham TW1 3NL
This document provides an example of a standard NIHR research contract between the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and an NHS Trust.
This document provides an example of a standard research contract between Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and a commercial organisation, such as a life sciences company.
This document provides an example of a standard research contract between Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and a higher education institution (HEI).
Minutes of the competition 6 Connect Stage 1 Sub-Committee Meeting held on 12 May 2022 via Zoom Virtual Meeting
This guidance outlines the application process for applying to call 6 of the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Connect funding stream, including how to prepare and submit a business plan and video presentation.