SBRI: Increasing access to and capacity in Occupational Health: Phase 1
Apply for a share of £1m (inc. VAT) to develop innovative solutions that increase access to Occupational Health Services for SMEs and the self-employed.
Phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £100,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 8 months. The potential Phase 2 will be invitation only to selected successful applicants from Phase 1. Phase 2 projects can have costs up to £250,000 inclusive of VAT and last up to 12 months.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative(SBRI) competition jointly funded by Department of Work and Pension (DWP) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
There is currently a wide variation across the UK in access to occupational health services (OHS), with large employers five times more likely to offer services than small employers. The aim of this competition is to increase access for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the self-employed to occupational health services. These groups are underserved by the current OHS provision and this competitions support will allow OHS providers to better utilise the capacity they have to serve this new demand.
Expert support such as occupational health services can be a critical component in helping supporting individuals remain in and return to work. It helps in reducing unnecessary sickness absence, supporting employers to retain valuable staff, increasing productivity, and enabling individuals to live better for longer.
Innovation, particularly in relation to service models that work for SMEs and the self-employed, with greater use of technology have an important role. It can help to ensure the market has the capacity and capability to deliver these services and increase employer demand for OHS.
This is phase 1 of a potential 2 SBRI phase competition. The decision to proceed with the invitation only phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only the successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to apply to take part in a potential phase 2.
Projects must start on 1 June 2023 and end by 31 January 2024.
To lead a project, you can:
- be an organisation of any size
- work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors
Phase 1 feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £100,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project for up to 8 months. SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.
The potential Phase 2 will be invitation only to selected successful applicants from Phase 1. Up to £1 million, inclusive of VAT is planned to be allocated for Phase 2. Phase 2 projects can have costs up to £250,000 inclusive of VAT and last up to 12 months.
The aim of this competition is to increase access for the self-employed, micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to occupational health services (OHS). These groups are underserved by the current OHS provision and this competitions support will allow OHS providers to better utilise the capacity they have to serve this new demand.
Your proposal must show how you will:
- increase access to occupational health services for the self-employed, micro and SMEs
- improve the provision of occupational health services so that the market can better utilise their capacity to serve the needs of more self-employed, micro, and SME businesses
- evaluate approaches and contribute to the existing evidence base
In phase 1 your project must:
- demonstrate an understanding of the principles of occupational health (OH) service provision
- engage with occupational health service providers
- engage with the self-employed, micro businesses and SMEs as potential users of OH services
- produce an evidence-based theory of change and demonstrate its sustainability
- evaluate your proposed approach and develop metrics that contribute to the existing evidence base
- identify a clear route to market
- demonstrate the technical, development and market feasibility of your proposed innovation
- describe how your innovation is addressing challenges in OH provision and access.
- establish ongoing collaboration between all members of the project team
- formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts
- include a milestone at one month before the project end for submission of a costed high level plan for a potential phase 2
At this stage contracts will be given for phase 1 only.
You must define your goals in your application and outline your plan for a potential phase 2 project. This is part of the full commercial implementation in your phase 1 application.
You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.
Your project can focus on one or more of the following:
- improving the take up of occupational health services by the self-employed, micro businesses and SMEs through new ways of delivering occupational health
- the utilisation of new technologies
An online briefing event will be held at 10.30am on Thursday 2nd February: click here for the joining link (Zoom)
If you want help to find an organisation to work with as a subcontractor, contact Innovate UK KTN.