Biomedical Catalyst 2023 Round 2: Industry-led R&D

UK registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £20 million to develop innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total costs must be between £150,000 and £4 million. The total grant cannot exceed £2 million.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million in projects to support UK registered businesses to develop innovative solutions to address significant health or healthcare challenges.

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
  • transforming the delivery of healthcare
  • the development of digital health technologies
  • consumer focused self-care

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

The Industry led research and development (R&D) stream of the Biomedical Catalyst programme supports pre-market R&D projects. Applicants must be able to demonstrate existing evidence of commercial and technical feasibility.

Applications must show how they will improve the competitiveness and productivity of at least one UK SME involved in the project.

  • To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

    More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

    Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

    Project team

    To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

    • business of any size
    • academic institution
    • charity
    • not for profit
    • public sector organisation
    • research and technology organisation (RTO)

    Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service.

    Partners must accept terms and conditions (T&Cs) and complete the subsidy question in order for the application to be submitted.

    An SME can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

    If an SME is not leading on any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

    A research and technology organisation (RTO), a large business, academic institution, charity, not for profit, or public sector organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.

  • Your project must:

    • have total project costs between £150,000 and £4 million
    • not exceed a grant request of £2 million
    • have at least 50% of the total project costs shared by the SMEs, if collaborative
    • start by 01 June 2024
    • end by 31 May 2027
    • last between 6 months and 36 months
    • carry out all of its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

    Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

    You must only include eligible project costs in your application. If you have requested an overall grant of over £500,000, and your online application is successful at Stage 1, you may be invited to attend an interview.

  • The aim of this industry-led R&D competition is to support the development of innovative solutions to health and healthcare challenges.

    We will only support innovation projects conducted to the highest standards of animal welfare.

    Further information for proposals involving animal testing is available at the UKRI Good Research Hub and NC3R’s animal welfare guidance.

    Your project can include:

    • experimental evaluation at laboratory scale
    • use of in vitro and in vivo models to evaluate proof of concept or safety
    • exploring potential production mechanisms
    • prototyping
    • product development planning
    • intellectual property protection
    • a demonstration of clinical utility and effectiveness
    • a demonstration of safety and efficacy including phase 1 and 2 clinical trials
    • regulatory planning

    This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

  • Your project can focus on any health or healthcare sector or discipline including:

    • biosciences
    • advanced therapies, gene and cell therapies
    • diagnostic, medical technology and devices
    • digital health
    • independent living and wellbeing
    • precision medicine
    • preclinical technologies and drug target discovery
    • therapeutic and medicine development
    • data driven health
    • consumer health
    • preventative health

    This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

  • An online briefing event was held on Thursday 21st September (12pm): watch the recording.

    If you would like help to find a collaboration partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Health team.


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