UK-China Healthy Ageing Accelerator Feb-Apr 2023

We seek innovators with new product or service ideas that can support people to stay healthy, connected and active as we age.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to benefit from a business growth support package delivered by Oxford Innovation on behalf of NICA to strengthen their entry into the Chinese Healthy Ageing market.


Innovate UK

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Registration for this opportunity closed on 17th April 2023.


Apply to join us in Newcastle from 15th-19th May and for 8 further highly valuable weeks of support. Our previous delegates have confirmed this programme offers highly valued input and support.

The Innovate UK KTN (KTN) Innovation Exchange Programme is supporting the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) with Oxford Innovation Advice (OIA) to find innovative UK companies who are ambitious to grow their business. We seek innovators with new product or service ideas that can support us to stay healthy connected and active as we age. We will be providing free expert assistance to participants particularly focussing on the growing market opportunities in China.

The theme of this accelerator is ‘adaptations to the urban environment’ and we are looking for technologies, products and services that help to ensure our towns and cities actively support our healthy longevity and quality of life.

The free-of-charge UK-China Healthy Ageing Accelerator is targeted at high-growth potential companies of any size and from any part of the UK. It will provide expert support to help companies to maximise their business growth including assisting participants to explore the fast-growing China Market. Successful applicants will benefit from 9 weeks of tailored fully funded support from NICA, OIA, and KTN experts. The first week of the programme will require full-time “in person” participation in Newcastle upon Tyne. We are now recruiting the third group of ten participants. The earlier groups are currently undertaking the programme and deriving significant benefit.

These activities are funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), delivered by Innovate UK, part of UKRI.

The healthy longevity market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The market in China is the largest geographically-defined opportunity for this. Our Accelerator Programme includes a de-risking pathway to enter this (China) market and make UK businesses competitive as well as growth and export-ready.


Applicants must be UK Registered companies. Any applications from companies outside the UK will not be considered.


The innovations that are being sought should be at a Technology Readiness Level of 7 (demonstrated within an operational environment) and above and therefore close to market-ready. The products should help the healthy ageing agenda and can be from any sized company and from any sector. We also welcome products and services that could be adapted or marketed for the longevity market but may not as yet be targeted there.

The opportunity areas addressed through the UK-China Healthy Ageing Accelerator programme are:

Mobility and Independence in Urban Environment

Helping people to access services, spaces and technology which can enable connectivity (to community, its services and resources and each other) to be maintained as we age is the over-arching scope for applicants wishing to participate in this accelerator programme.

Research has shown that urban conditions may act to impede smooth access to, and participation in, services and daily life in some physical places more than others, so identifying and tackling such challenging circumstances is very much within scope.

As a further consideration within this challenge, we must also pay attention to the integration of, and equality of access to, community and outside spaces, sports, hobbies and social situations (restaurants and events etc), and to psychological factors that underpin self-confidence amongst other ‘enablers’.

Longevity Cities

As we age, we may need support to remain confident to move around in order to go out into the community safely and find appropriate routes and transport modes. Dwellings also need to make consideration for impairments which may be less obvious to casual observation such as hearing and vision challenges.

This Accelerator programme is open to businesses with any ideas for products or services that may help a person (of any age) to live a complete and connected life and be confident of being able to go out safely and return to their own home.

Rewards & Benefits

The UK-China Healthy Ageing Accelerator will be hosted in the multi-award-winning Catalyst Innovation Centre in central Newcastle upon Tyne which is also the home of NICA itself. The programme will begin with a one-week Induction programme which will be highly interactive and delivered face-to-face. All other activities and resources will be provided optionally as face-to-face, virtual, or mixed-mode interventions. This is a highly flexible offer. The teams at NICA, OIA and KTN (and other experts such as DIT plus China geographical experts) will all provide support and content. This will include an Entrepreneur in Residence who can support your business throughout its journey through the Accelerator Programme.

Over the full nine-week period Accelerator participants will receive:

  • An initial diagnostic to identify growth potential
  • One-week face-to-face programme of Masterclasses covering vital business growth issues including investment readiness, and exploration of the significant market opportunities in the healthy ageing field
  • Follow-on One to One coaching from a business growth expert addressing the growth challenges identified in the initial diagnostic
  • Specific analysis of and introduction to the growing China market including access to DIT and all its export support functions and facilities, and the opportunity to gain new market intelligence via NICA
  • The opportunity to participate in additional Masterclasses and Peer Network sessions covering subjects of your choice
  • The opportunity to attend a Customer Showcase and Investment Showcase to meet potential customers and investors respectively (these will take place in July-2023).
  • The opportunity to access funding to allow use of the extensive Catalyst facilities
  • Access to an Entrepreneur in Residence based at NICA who will help to connect you to the broader “innovation ecosystem” within Innovate UK and beyond

We anticipate that individuals participating in this programme will be Chief Executive/Managing Director or Director level.

Eligibility Form

As the Innovate UK funding for this programme was secured before December 2020 we have an obligation to verify compliance with EU State Aid rules as a condition of funding. We also need to collect some additional standard information about your company to help us with the selection process.

It is essential that you provide this additional information at the same time as submitting your online Application or your Application will not be considered.

To find out more, click the link below to visit the IUK KTN Innovation Exchange site.


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