Funding competition SBRI: Healthy Ageing scaling social ventures

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £3 million, inclusive of VAT, to scale products and services to support healthy ageing.

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Competition sections

Description

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The aim of the competition is to fund Social Ventures with the ability to scale and deliver social impact. Your proposal must address one or more of the 7 themes of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework.

This is a single-phase competition.

In applying to this competition you are entering into a competitive process.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the date of the deadline.

Funding type

Procurement

Project size

Projects must have total costs of between £200,000 to £500,000, inclusive of VAT.

Who can apply

Your project

Projects:

  • must have total costs of between £200,000 to £500,000, inclusive of VAT
  • can start by 1 February 2023
  • must end by 31 March 2024
  • must last between 6 months and 12 months

Applicant

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an eligible organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

As an organisation you must:

  • be a social enterprise and exist to provide benefits for society
  • have stated commitment to social outcomes for an identified set of beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • have objects in your constitutional documents, which form a constitutional lock, that protect your social or environmental mission
  • have a policy to distribute a portion of profits after tax, or be open to including one, so surpluses are used to achieve social or environmental impacts in the long term

This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can engage specialists or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Funding

A total of up to £3million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition.

The R&D contracts will be between £200,000 to £500,000 inclusive of VAT, for each project for 6 to 12 months. We expect to fund between 6 and 12 projects.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to apply a ‘portfolio’ approach.

The contract is completed at the end of the competition, and the successful organisation is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and suggest you seek independent advice from HMRC.

VAT registered

If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs in your application exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total. Your total project costs must not exceed £500,000

Not VAT registered

If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs in your application exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered. Your total project costs must not exceed £500,000

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Subsidy control

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.

Your project

The aim of this competition is to enable businesses with a social purpose to scale up existing innovative products, processes and services where the innovation element is at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) between 3 and 7.

In this competition you must:

  • address one or more of the 7 themes identified by the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework to support people as they age
  • identify a clear route to market, scalability and sustainability for your product or service
  • have a validated business plan to scale your product or service and plan to scale by at least 25% of current baseline
  • include an evidence-based theory of change
  • provide evidence of an existing lead customer who is using your product or service and the plan to increase their uptake
  • detail a minimum of one and up to four new customers and an implementation plan for each
  • describe how scaling your innovation addresses critical social or environmental challenges
  • demonstrate a causal link between your business activities and achievement of your declared social or environmental impact
  • describe how all social impact will be measured, evidenced, and reported
  • outline your commitment to specific social outcomes, clearly identifying beneficiaries related to your social or environmental mission
  • explain how any profits after tax will be distributed so surpluses are used to achieve future social or environmental impacts
  • describe how ongoing collaborations between all members of the project team will develop
  • have the required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts in place

Contracts will be given to successful applicants.

You must demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results.

Portfolio approach

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, themes, markets, regions, nations and technological maturities. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following 7 themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework:

  • living well with cognitive impairment
  • sustaining physical activity
  • maintaining health at work and work in later life
  • managing the common complaints of ageing
  • design for age-friendly homes
  • creating healthy active places
  • supporting social connections

Research categories

Adoption and scaling
This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for scaling up existing products, processes or services.
You must work closely with the stakeholders to deliver the adoption and scaling up of the products processes or services.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • do not have an existing lead customer
  • do not have at least one additional new customer engaged
  • do not plan to scale by at least 25 % of your existing baseline of product, process or service
  • do not have a strong social impact, focus or purpose
  • do not address any of the 7 themes from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework
  • include clinical trials, clinical studies, or fundamental research
  • require regulatory approval
  • do not involve the development of early stage TRL 3 to 7 products or processes
  • do not involve the development of an innovation element to enhance impact or commercial viability of an existing service following an initial pilot
5 September 2022
Competition opens
14 September 2022
Online briefing event: watch the recording
19 October 2022 11:00am
Competition closes
21 November 2022
Invite to interview
28 November 2022
Interviews start
2 December 2022
Interviews end
6 December 2022
Feedback
6 December 2022
Applicants notified
1 February 2023
Phase 1 contracts awarded

Before you start

By submitting an application, you agree to the terms of the draft contract which is available once you start your application. The terms of the contract are non-negotiable and are included in the draft contract. We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions if necessary.

The final contract will include any milestones you have agreed with the funding authority and will be sent to you if your application is successful. The contract is binding once it is returned by you and signed by both parties.

When you start an application, you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. Using your account, you will be able to track your applications progress.

As the applicant you are responsible for:

  • collecting the information for your application
  • representing your organisation in leading the project if your application is successful

You will be able to invite colleagues from your organisation to contribute to the application.

What happens next

If your application passes the first stage of assessment, you may be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation. Your interview will take place either online or at a designated location. The date and time of your interview will be included in your invitation.

Before the interview, by the deadline stated in the invitation email, you:

  • must send a list of who will attend the interview
  • must send your interview presentation slides
  • can send a written response to the assessors feedback

List of attendees

Up to 3 people from your project can attend. They must all be available on all published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

Presentation slides

Your interview presentation must:

  • use Microsoft PowerPoint
  • be no longer than 10 minutes
  • have no more than 8 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it or bring any additional materials to the interview.

Written response to assessor feedback

This is optional and is an opportunity to answer the assessors’ concerns. It can:

  • be up to 2 A4 pages in a single PDF or Word document
  • include charts or diagrams

Interview

After your presentation the panel will spend 20 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the information you provided in your application form, presentation and the response to feedback.

After your interview

The panellists will individually score your application and these will be averaged for your overall interview score. This score will supersede the one you received from your initial written assessment unless stated otherwise in the competition brief. We will notify you whether you have been successful or not by email and you will receive feedback on your interview within a week of notification.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

These sections are not scored.

Application team

Decide who in your organisation will work with you on the project. Invite those people from your organisation to help complete the application.

Application details

Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Who made you aware of the competition?

Select a category to state who made you aware of the competition. You cannot choose more than one.

How long has your organisation been established for?

Select a category to state how long has your organisation been established for. You cannot choose more than one.

What is your organisation’s primary area focus?

Select a category to state your organisation’s primary focus area. You cannot choose more than one.

Project and scope summary

Please provide a short summary of your project.

Describe your project briefly. Be clear about what makes it innovative and how it relates to the scope of the competition. How does it tackle different aspects of the challenge and how will it provide an integrated solution?

Give details of the lead organisation. Before you submit, we expect you to have discussed your application within your organisation.

Your answer for this section can be up to 400 words long.

This section is not scored, but we will use it to decide whether the project fits the scope of the competition. If it does not, it may be rejected and not sent for assessment.

Public description

Please provide a brief description of your project. If your application is successful, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project. This question is mandatory, but we will not assess this content as part of your application.

Describe your project in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. We have the right to amend the description before publication if necessary but will consult you about any changes.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Applicant location

You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation and any subcontractors working on your project.

We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all participants of a project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score all your answers apart from questions 1 and 2. You will receive feedback for each scored question.

Find out more about how our assessors assess. Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long.

Do not include any URLs in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video.

Question 1. Themes (not scored)

You must choose one main Healthy Ageing theme that best describes your project:

  • living well with cognitive impairment
  • sustaining physical activity
  • maintaining health at work and work in later life
  • managing the common complaints of ageing
  • design for age-friendly homes
  • creating healthy active places
  • supporting social connections

Question 2. Video pitch (not scored)

You must provide a 3 minute video summarising your project. This question is not scored, but the assessors will use it to understand your project.

You must upload your video to YouTube. It must be no longer than 3 minutes. If your video is over 3 minutes long, only the first 3 minutes will be used to assess your application.

Ensure:

  • your video is ‘unlisted’ in the privacy settings
  • your video remains available until 31 March 2023
  • you give the link and any passwords required in your answer to this question

If we are unable to view your video or it is not hosted on YouTube, your application will be made ineligible.

More information on how to create an unlisted video on YouTube.

If you cannot upload your video to YouTube, you must contact support@iuk.ukri.org at least 10 working days before the competition closes for advice or to ask permission to use an alternative platform.

Question 3. Proposed idea or technology

How does the project meet the challenge described in the competition scope?

Why is your proposed approach an impactful and innovative solution?

You must provide a description of your proposed idea, the current state of development or readiness of the idea including both its current technology readiness level (TRL) and proposed TRL within the scope requirements of TRLs 3 to 7.

You must consider any barriers to adoption and how they could be overcome.

You can submit a single appendix as a PDF containing images and diagrams to support your answer. It can be no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘How well does the proposal meet the challenge?’

Question 4. Technical, societal or environmental project summary

What are the main technical, societal or environmental challenges you are looking to address?

Describe:

  • the specific population demographic you are targeting
  • the main technical or societal or environmental deliverables
  • the research and development that will prove the scientific, social, environmental and commercial merit of the project
  • any challenges or opportunities relating to equality, diversity and inclusion arising from your project
  • what might be achieved by deploying the innovation to address the selected challenge

This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘How valid is the project approach?’

Question 5. Current state of the art and intellectual property

What other products or services are currently available on the market? How does your proposed innovative project differentiate itself from them?

Include details of:

  • any existing intellectual property (IP)
  • its significance to your freedom to operate
  • any existing know-how or unique access to a specific population

This question will be scored against these assessment criteria: ‘How innovative is this project? How much does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?’

Question 6. Project plan and methodology

Describe your project plan and identify the main milestones.

The emphasis throughout should be on practicality. We want evidence that the service or technology will work, can be made into a viable and scalable service or product and can achieve the proposed benefits.

You must describe:

  • what resources will be needed to deliver the project
  • what the main success criteria would be
  • the project management processes you have identified that will ensure you achieve your milestones
  • the main technical, societal, commercial and environmental risks and what you will do to mitigate them
  • how you would handle any IP issues which might arise during the project
  • an outline evidence-based theory of change

Include details of how you will maintain freedom to operate and fulfil the IP requirements detailed in the contract if you are working with subcontractors.

You must upload a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix in PDF format no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Your milestones must:

  • be clear
  • be defined using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) criteria
  • be associated with the appropriate deliverables and payments
  • indicate your payment schedule by month

Please note that all payments are made monthly in arrears.

This question will be assessed against these assessment criteria:

  • does the proposal show a clear plan for establishing technical, social and commercial feasibility and the development of a replicable, scalable model.
  • is there a clear management plan
  • what are the main technical, societal, commercial, and environmental risks to the project’s success
  • how will these be effectively managed
  • are the milestones and evaluation procedures appropriate
  • is the outline evidence-based theory of change appropriate

Please note information from the finances section will be used to support the assessment of this question. Proposed milestones and associated payments stated in this section must match those entered in the finance summary on your application.

Question 7. Technical team and expertise

Provide a brief description of your technical or development team.

Describe:

  • how your technical or development team has the skills, capabilities, and experience to deliver the intended benefits
  • how much of their time will be spent on the project
  • the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully complete the project

This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: Does the applicant have the skills, capabilities and experience to deliver the intended benefits?

Question 8. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost? How does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?

Describe:

  • the total costs inclusive of VAT (If applicable) you are requesting in terms of the project goals
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer

Proposed costs stated in this section must match those entered in the finance summary.

You can submit a single appendix as a spreadsheet in PDF format, no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long to support your answer. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Costs quoted must reflect actual costs at a ‘fair market value’ and not include profit.

Full Economic Cost (FEC) calculations are not relevant for SBRI competitions. SBRI is a competitive process and applications will come from a variety of organisations. Whatever calculation you use to arrive at your total eligible project costs your application will be assessed against applications from other organisations. Bear this in mind when calculating your total eligible project costs. You can include overheads but remember that this is a competitive process.

The assessors are required to judge the application finances in terms of value for money. They will score your finances against this assessment criterion: ‘Are the budget and costs realistic, justified and appropriate for the aims and methods?

Please note information from the finances section will be used to support the assessment of this question. Proposed costs stated in this section must match those entered in the finance summary on your application.

Question 9. Commercial potential

What is the commercial potential of your project? You must focus on your proposed customer’s needs.

Describe your:

  • timescales
  • projects commercial potential for a marketable product, process or service
  • delivery plan
  • expected route to market

Describe the competitive advantage that your project has over existing or alternative technologies that meet market needs.

Describe any existing commercial relationships relevant to the project.

With the focus on your proposed customer’s needs, you can also mention the future commercial potential across the public or private sector and international markets.

This question will be scored against these assessment criteria:

  • is there a clear commercial potential for a marketable product, process or service
  • is there a clear plan to deliver that and a clear route to market
  • how significant is the competitive advantage of this solution over existing approaches that meet the market’s needs

Question 10. Adoption and scale

How will you approach building a community of users and adopters to develop and support your innovation?

Describe:

  • how you will build a community to support and adopt the solution as part of the project
  • your engagement plan
  • how you will identify a lead customer to work with, why that customer and how you will work with them
  • how you will gain appropriate clearances
  • any previous engagement with the customer group or community
  • how your business plans to scale its activities, giving examples such as geographical, organisation size, revenue, providing clear metrics in your milestones and timelines

This question will be scored against these assessment criteria:

Does this project have potential to scale up its activities is there a clear milestone plan to achieve this, whether that is geographical, size of organisation, market size or revenue.

Question 11. Business model

What is the proposed business model for driving forward the adoption and scaling of your solution after the project period?

Explain how your solution will be supported after the project period.

This question will be scored against the assessment criterion: ‘Is there a sustainable business model proposed to scale the adoption, use, and support of the proposed solution?’

3. Finances

Enter your project costs, organisation details and funding details.

You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs. We advise you answer the VAT registered question first before entering your costs. Your total project costs must not exceed £500,000.

If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. As part of the application process VAT will be automatically calculated and added to your project cost total.

If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added. You will not be able to increase total project costs to cover VAT later should you become VAT registered.

VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business. We will not provide any further advice and advise you to seek independent advice from HMRC.

For full information on what costs you can claim, see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

About Small Business Research Initiative competitions

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. This can lead to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness.

The SBRI programme:

  • supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of R&D
  • generates new business opportunities for companies
  • provides a route to market for their ideas
  • bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early-stage companies

SBRI competitions are open to all eligible organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. Under current regulations, SBRI contracts are open to applications from eligible organisations registered in the UK, European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The SBRI scheme is particularly suited to small and medium-sized businesses, as the contracts are of relatively small value and operate on short timescales. Developments are 100% funded and focused on specific identified needs, increasing the chance of exploitation.

SBRI is a procurement of R&D services. If successful, you will receive a contract to deliver the proposed activity. You will submit an invoice for the work undertaken. If you are VAT registered, your total costs are expected to include VAT that you would charge as a service provider. VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business, and applications are expected to list total costs inclusive of VAT.

Suppliers for each project will be selected by an open competition process and retain the intellectual property generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the contracting authority. This is an excellent opportunity to establish an early customer for a new technology and to fund its development.

Broader Information

Technology readiness levels

For further information about TRLs, you can visit the eligibility for technology readiness levels (TRL) guidance.

Social enterprises

A social enterprise is a business that trades in order to create a social impact. It makes money in the same way a business does, by selling goods and services. Revenues are then used to cover costs, pay salaries, to develop the business and to invest into making a difference for the common good.

While social enterprises can make a profit, the core goal is not simply to create wealth. A social enterprise aims to be self-sustaining by trading on a cost-recovery basis and breaking even may be regarded as a successful outcome.

Data sharing

This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (each an ‘agency’).

Your submitted application and any other information you provide at the application stage can be submitted to each agency on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use. Any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application can be shared by one agency with the other, for its individual storage, processing and use.

This means that any information given to or generated by Innovate UK in respect of your application may be passed on to UKRI and vice versa.

Innovate UK and UKRI are directly accountable to you for their holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information. Data is held in accordance with their own policies. Accordingly, Innovate UK, and UKRI will be data controllers for personal data submitted during the application.

Innovate UK complies with the requirements of GDPR, and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information. The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles.

Further help and guidance

If you want help to find an organisation to work with, contact the Innovate UK KTN.

If you have any questions about the scope requirements of this competition, email us at support@iuk.ukri.org.

If you need support with the application process, email us at support@iuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be because of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.

If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

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