Greater Manchester

Research and Innovation Health Accelerator

ERDF part-funded project for SMEs

The Research and Innovation (R&I) Health Accelerator is an ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) part-funded project delivered by Health Innovation Manchester, The University of Manchester, The University of Manchester Innovation Factory, Manchester City Council and Bionow.

The project invites SMEs to collaborate with Greater Manchester’s research and innovation institutions to accelerate development and improve commercialisation of innovative healthcare products and services within life sciences.

SMEs will be able to access expertise and support including information about navigating the health and care system, developing value propositions, ethics & regulatory advice and access to university-wide expertise.

There will also be opportunities to build lasting research collaborations between SMEs, researchers, Greater Manchester universities, NHS organisations and the broader health innovation community. These collaborations will be used to share knowledge, address the barriers to adoption and co-develop proposals for research and development projects.

The programme, which is open now and will run until June 2023, will engage with SMEs across a range of health and care products and services, but with a particular focus on AI & digital technologies, medical devices, biosensors, genomics & precision medicine, diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, and applications of advanced materials.

Eligible SMEs will be able to access two levels of support, both with a menu of support activities that can be mixed and matched to meet their specific needs.

Level 1 Support zone

At Level 1 SMEs will have access to 12 hours of advice and support to help progress their products and services towards adoption in the health and care system, and explore the potential for deeper engagement. This could include:

  • Navigating the health & care system
  • Developing value propositions
  • Matching innovations to healthcare needs
  • Ethics and regulatory advice
  • Signposting Higher Education Collaboration Opportunities
  • Access to University Expertise
  • Brokering, networking and events
  • Collaboration workshops
  • Co-designing bespoke support packages

Level 2: Collaboration Zone

At Level 2, SMEs with potential to introduce products to market or new products/processes to the SME will be provided with opportunities for in-depth collaboration with researchers and other stakeholders in the health and care system to further accelerate progress towards commercialisation. This could include:

  • Co-designing research and development (R&D) proposals
  • Collaborative R&D proposals
  • Access to University facilities
  • Supporting Real-World evaluation
  • Supporting study design and costing
  • Supporting commercialisation
  • Health economics analysis
  • Facilitating Patient and Public Engagement
  • Ethics and Regulator support
  • Brokering partnerships
  • Bespoke events
  • Networking and peer-to-peer support

Innovation Catalysts

SMEs will be able to access three collaborative support mechanisms:

  • Small innovation vouchers of £2,499 will be able to support market insights, contract research services, clinical and applied health research advice, expertise in NICE processes, where this would support progress towards adoption and commercialisation – including the design of follow-on collaborative projects
  • Follow-on vouchers of £20,000 will support more substantial developments, wholly or partially funding collaborative projects to progress towards key adoption and commercialisation milestones.
  • Projects co-developed with University of Manchester academics to move innovative products or services closer to adoption, supported by 4-5 months of researcher time and access to University facilities.

How to apply

All applications for the R&I Health Accelerator are now closed.

For further support in bringing innovative products and services to the NHS, please visit The Innovation Nexus.

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