Biomedical Catalyst 2021 Round 2: Feasibility & Primer Awards

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £12 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £50,000 and £1million. Up to 70% of costs can be funded depending on market readiness and business size.


Innovate UK

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The aim of this competition is to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of an innovative scientific idea or carry out a technical evaluation through to proof of concept in a model system. Your project must focus on the development of a product or process that is an innovative solution to a health and care challenge.

Your project can focus on:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

This competition combines the feasibility and primer strands of the Biomedical Catalyst.

Feasibility Award

The feasibility award is designed for projects that have developed an innovative concept or carried out experimental proof of concept but have not validated the technology. The aim of the feasibility award is to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of innovative ideas.

Primer Award

The primer award is for conducting a technical evaluation of an idea through to proof of concept in a model system.


For both awards, your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £50,000 and £1million
  • start on 1 April 2022
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • last between 3 months and 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation, or research and technology organisation (RTO). An SME can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. An organisation that is not leading on an application can collaborate in any number of applications.

Your project can:

  • review research evidence and identify possible applications
  • assess business opportunities
  • assess or protect intellectual property
  • validate initial concepts and existing pre-clinical work through experimental studies
  • initially demonstrate using in-vitro and in-vivo models, but not human clinical trials
  • develop early-stage prototyping
  • acquire preliminary regulatory advice

Your project can focus on any health and care sector or discipline.

Innovate UK particularly welcomes applications that support innovation in the following areas:

  • child health technologies
  • innovations that support clinical trials in the UK
  • biomedical innovations that combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance

Your project can align with one or more of the following:

  • medical technologies and devices
  • stratified healthcare
  • advanced therapies such as gene and cell therapies
  • digital health
  • drug discovery
  • diagnostics

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

An online briefing will be held at 10am on 22nd October – click here for the Zoom link.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact KTN’s Health team.


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