UK-Kenya Health Lead Customer Programme

Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa project is investing up to £120,000 for three innovation projects (£40,000 per project) towards improvement of cancer diagnostics in Kenya and/or the UK.

Opportunity Details


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The Health Lead Customer Programme provides funding for up to three £40,000 projects to allow businesses from the UK and Kenya to collaboratively develop and deploy technology – based solutions to address challenges within the sector.


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About the competition

The aim of this competition is to accelerate innovations needed to create new or improved cancer diagnostic technologies for the health sector through UK-Kenya partnerships.

Your project must focus on improving accessible and affordable early diagnosis of prevalent cancers such as breast, prostate, and cervical cancer. This involves developing and implementing innovative methods that make early cancer detection more accessible and cost-effective for diverse populations.

Projects should focus on one or more of the following:

  • Digitalisation linked to affordable cancer screening, detection, and diagnosis innovations. This includes integrating digital technologies to enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and accessibility of cancer screening and diagnostic processes.
  • Enhancing access to cancer diagnosis and detection by improving the availability and affordability of diagnostic services to ensure that more individuals can benefit from early cancer detection.
  • Strengthening health systems by improving the capacity of health systems to provide comprehensive cancer diagnosis.
  • Addressing gaps in suitable health technologies, focussing on the availability of appropriate health technologies for cancer diagnosis, ensuring that these technologies are accessible to all.
  • Enhancing targeted international collaboration for health outcomes. This promotes cooperation and collaboration among international stakeholders to improve cancer diagnosis, and overall health outcomes on a global scale.

Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa

Innovate UK exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real world solutions. Innovate UK is delivering the 6-year (2019 – 2025) UK International Development funded, Global Alliance Africa project, which aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding, and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

The project aligns with the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) objectives by building stronger local innovation ecosystems and enhanced UK-Africa collaborations that lead to self-sustaining economic growth in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, by harnessing the potential of innovation to meet current and future socio-economic-environmental challenges. The project is focused around three key pillars, one of which focuses on ‘Connected Innovation’ where Global Innovation Networks will be forged to facilitate UK, African and International networks to deliver collaborative research, innovation and funding solutions that address key global innovation challenges.

This focus area is of critical importance to both Kenya and the UK due to the significant burden of cancer in these countries. In Kenya, cancer is the third leading cause of death. Early diagnosis is often hindered by limited access to diagnostic services and technologies, making affordable and accessible solutions essential. In the UK, cancer remains a leading cause of mortality and demand on resources. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) faces challenges in timely cancer detection due to high demand and resource constraints. Both countries would benefit from innovations that enhance early detection and diagnosis, improve health system capacities, and foster international collaboration to address these shared challenges effectively.

A Lead Customer is a Kenyan and/or UK health supplier, company or top-tier end-user that shows support or commitment to the proposed innovations by presenting demonstrable deployment routes. The Lead Customer must provide a Letter of Endorsement with your application.

Funding Type and Project Size

Innovate UK will fund 70% of a total project value up to £40,000 per project. An in-kind contribution of 30% is required from the project partners. Higher in-kind contributions by project partners are encouraged to boost the scale of the projects, and will be viewed favourably in the selection process.

A project must involve at least one partner from the UK and one partner from Kenya.

Rewards & Benefits

  • Technology Testing & Validation, 6-month project: Grant funding of pp to £40,000 for the UK/Kenya lead registered organisation per project (subject to T&C).
  • Technology Demonstration & Scale-up, 6-month project: Grant funding of pp to £40,000 for the UK/Kenya lead registered organisation per project (subject to T&C).
  • Access to international collaboration and innovation through UK-Kenya partnership.
  • Support in facilitating industry engagement to seize future commercialisation opportunities and enhance market access.
  • Sector expertise support from Innovate UK and Lead Country Partner (i.e. KENIA).

Before you start:

Related Events and Recordings


Global Alliance Africa Lead Customer Programme Briefing Webinar

10.00 - 11.00 GMT+1 | Online

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Related programmes

Global Alliance Africa

Global Alliance Africa

This Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa 6-year (2019-2025) project funded by UK International Development aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Collaborative R&D Funding

Collaborative R&D Funding

Collaborative R&D activities will leverage funding, networks and expertise in order to facilitate UK-Africa R&D partnerships in key thematic areas of mutual interest.


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