Pilot accelerators launched to support the development of early-stage health and life science innovation in the UK
The Biomedical Catalyst is Innovate UK’s flagship grant funding mechanism, enabling small and medium sized businesses to test and develop innovative health and care solutions across life sciences, including therapeutics, medical devices, and digital health.
By awarding grants to UK-based businesses of varying stages of development, we enable them to develop innovative healthcare solutions, secure investment and speed up bringing new products to market.
We are pleased to announce our pilot accelerators, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, which will allow spinouts, start-ups, and entrepreneurial minded academics to test their ideas and develop concepts with support from key stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem.
The Biomedical Catalyst pilot accelerators will focus on four key themes: Children’s health, FemTech, Microbials and Neurotech, each with their own programme of support from the service providers.
Children’s Health Impact Accelerator: Addressing the unmet needs within paediatric care through technological innovation. The programme is run by leading start-up builder and early-stage investor, Founders Factory, alongside Humant and children’s charity, Thinking of Oscar. It will support the growth of the emerging field of children’s healthtech – from investment to adoption – to secure a healthier adult population for generations to come. Full details available here.
Accelerating FemTech: Supporting innovators to boost the development of technology solutions to address current challenges in women’s health. The programme is looking to inspire innovators (clinicians, companies, and academics) around this challenge, as well as delivering a targeted 10-week support accelerate programme for small / medium-sized companies from across the UK. The programme is being delivered by the Health Innovation Network and partners (Academic Health Science Networks, CW Innovation, Mills & Reeve), building on the experience of running the award-winning DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, Accelerating FemTech will provide bespoke support through expert-led workshops (face-to-face in London and Leeds, and virtual). Full details available here.
Microbials (Microbiome, Biofilms & Phage) Accelerator: Delivered by LYVA Labs and Bionow, in partnership with iiCON, University of Liverpool (UoL), CPI, and the Innovation Agency (IA), this programme offers guidance for SMEs with a novel microbial product, technology or process (including microbiomes, biofilms, phages, and biotherapeutics) to gain the skills and expertise to prepare them to scale their businesses, find and secure funding. Successful applicants will have access to a unique package of business support and clinical/ technical advice at no cost to the company. Please note that the development of new antibiotics to combat AMR and microbial diagnostics are out of scope for this programme. Full details available here.
Neurotech Accelerator: From whole brain imaging to single nerve stimulation with bioelectronic medicine, neurotechnology holds transformational potential for the global healthcare landscape. Pioneer Group and The Helix Way, the UK’s most distinguished life sciences accelerator providers, have partnered to deliver an intensive Accelerator Programme helping aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs bring their neurotech innovations to market through expert commercial support and access to grant funding. Full details available here.
Dr Samana Brannigan, Head of Health Technologies at Innovate UK, commented:
“Our vision is to inspire early-stage businesses to develop cutting edge healthcare solutions to transform healthcare and drive business growth. In collaboration with the Medical Research Council we have developed a pilot accelerator programme to maximise impact of our excellent research base and transform innovative research into commercially viable businesses. We are delighted to be working with key partners in the health and life sciences to deliver these programmes and their support will undoubtedly improve the success of the early-stage innovators in addressing real-world challenges.”
Laura Dickens, Associate Director – Industry Partnerships at Medical Research Council said:
“We are pleased to be working with Innovate UK and the Biomedical Catalyst accelerators to expand our existing support for translational research. These accelerators will enable academics to make connections with the commercial sector and access support to progress their innovative ideas towards societal and economic benefit. We look forward to seeing what ideas come forward, how they develop and the impact that is delivered.”