UK-South Korea Digital Health CRD
£3 million is available for UK registered SMEs and eligible partners from Innovate UK and Medical Research Council for business led R&D projects, delivering industrial innovation through academic collaboration in Digital Health, for the UK and South Korea
- Competition opens: Monday 19 June 2023
- Competition closes: Wednesday 2 August 2023 11:00am
This competition has not yet opened.
Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) to invest up to £3 million in innovation projects.
The aim of this competition is to fund business led, collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects. Projects must aim to deliver economic, knowledge and health benefit through industrial innovation and academic collaboration in the area of Digital Health for the UK and South Korea.
UK registered organisations must apply through the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) portal to Innovate UK. Successful projects will be co-funded by Innovate UK and MRC.
Your South Korean partner will not receive any funding from Innovate UK and MRC. South Korean partners must apply to and will be funded by KHIDI for the South Korean component of the project set out in this application.In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated. The project must be independently selected by both Innovate UK and KHIDI to be awarded funding.
UK applicants can apply for up to a maximum grant of £750,000 for each project.
Who can apply
Your project must:
- have a maximum grant funding request of no more than £750,000
- start by 1st November 2023
- end by 30 April 2026
- last between 24 and 30 months
UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.
The consortium must include at least two eligible organisations registered in South Korea that are separate, non-linked entities.
Your South Korean partners will not receive any of this UK competition funding. South Korean partners will be funded by KHIDI.
South Korean partners must be separately listed in the application to KHIDI. Only UK registered partners must be listed in the Project Partner section of this application.
All organisations in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.
Projects must have a balanced partnership with balanced contributions to the project. The total eligible project costs including grant funding and matched contributions should be distributed proportionately among the partners from the participating partner countries.
Your total project costs should be broadly the same as those of the South Korean component of the project, ensuring an approximate balanced sharing of project costs across the two sides of the project.
You must only include eligible project costs in your application.
Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.
To lead a project your organisation must:
- be a grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
- collaborate with a UK registered academic or research and technology organisation (RTO)
- collaborate with at least two eligible South Korean registered organisations, which must be separate non-linked entities to the UK project partners
More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.
To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:
- micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
- academic institution
- research and technology organisation (RTO)
Each UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service. South Korean partners must not be invited into Innovate UK’s application on the Innovation Funding Service.
To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other eligible UK organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.
Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and are limited to no more than 20% of the total eligible costs of the UK participation.
Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.
You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.
You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.
All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.
Number of applications
A UK SME can only lead on one application. If leading one application, a UK SME can be included as a collaborator in one further application.
A UK SME that is not leading an application can collaborate on up to 2 applications.
A UK registered academic institution or RTO can collaborate on any number of applications
You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.
We will not award you funding if you have:
- failed to exploit a previously funded project
- an overdue independent accountant’s report
- failed to comply with grant terms and conditions
Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)
This competition provides funding in line with the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Further information about the Subsidy requirements can be found within the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)
Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.
EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.
If you are unsure about your obligations under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.
You must always make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.
We have allocated up to £3 million for UK partners to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.
If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.
For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:
- up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
- up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
South Korean counterparts must apply to Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) for a matched amount of funding for the South Korean component of the project. The South Korean component of the project cannot be used for any of the project costs in your UK application. Successful South Korean partners will be funded by KHIDI.
For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance.
If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.
The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:
- 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
- 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation
The aim of this competition is to fund business led, collaborative, research and development (CR&D) projects. Projects must aim to deliver economic, knowledge and health benefit through industrial innovation and academic collaboration in the area of Digital Health for the UK and South Korea.
Projects must meet the stated requirements of MRC and Innovate UK as set out in this brief and that of Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) as set out in their published brief.
Your project must demonstrate:
- a clear game changing or disruptive innovative idea linked to knowledge generation which contributes towards our understanding of human health conditions and leading to new products, processes or services
- improvement to the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of significant health needs
- meaningful collaboration and transfer of knowledge between academic, RTO and business project partners
- a clear, evidence based business case that addresses and documents market potential and needs and that sets out the return on investment
- a strong and deliverable business that includes sound, practical financial plans and timelines
- good value for money which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK and MRC funding decisions
- clear potential to benefit the UK economy or national productivity
- the benefits to participants from the countries working together
- a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
- a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion
UKRI is committed to ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted Research and Innovation (TRI) is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our TRI Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.
As funded projects will involve working with international partners, you are encouraged to read these principles and familiarise yourself with the resources referenced.
UKRI may request additional information regarding your plan to ensure safe international collaboration if your application is considered to be relevant to this policy.
Your project must demonstrate its alignment with UKRI’s Ethical Research policies. Applicants must in particular adhere to UKRI’s ethical policies involving animal use in research.
We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets and technological maturities. We call this a portfolio approach.
Your project must focus on digital health. This may include digital tools, technologies, and solutions to improve health. These technologies include a wide range of devices, software, and platforms that leverage digital and mobile technologies.
Examples of areas of focus include:
- developing tools for improving analysis of medical imaging or data for clinical diagnosis, risk identification, patient stratification and disease monitoring
- data platforms for better integration of electronic health records, including opportunities for the use of data for further research
- tools to support point-of-care diagnosis and surveillance modelling
- digital tools to support management of diseases and delivery of psychological therapies
This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Any digital health project must align with Innovate UK, MRC and KHIDI remits.
Projects we will not fund
We will not fund projects that:
- deliver any non-civilian applications
- deliver dual use intellectual property (IP)
- are not in scope
- do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria
- do not submit all mandatory documentation
- have a grant request of more than £750,000 from Innovate UK
We cannot fund projects that are:
- dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
- dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product
- 19 June 2023
- Competition opens
- 21 June 2023
- Online briefing event: join at 10.00am
- 2 August 2023 11:00am
- Competition closes
- 5 September 2023
- Applicants notified
Before you start
You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.
Before submitting, it is the lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:
- that all the information provided in the application is correct
- your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
- all sections of the application are marked as complete
- that all partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)
You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.
What we ask you
The application is split into 3 sections:
Accessibility and inclusion
We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes providing support, in the form of reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us. Read more on how we are making our application process more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
You must contact us as early as possible in the application process. We recommend contacting us at least 15 working days before the competition closing date to ensure we can provide you with the most suitable support possible.
You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
1. Project details
This section provides background for your application and is not scored.
Decide which organisations will work with you on your project and invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.
Give your project’s title, start date and duration.
Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign the right experts to assess your application.
Your answer can be up to 400 words long.
Describe your project in detail and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.
Your answer can be up to 400 words long.
Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will not be sent for assessment. We will tell you the reason why.Your answer can be up to 400 words long.
2. Application questions
The assessors will score all your answers apart from question 1. You will receive feedback for each scored question. Find out more about how our assessors assess.
You must answer all questions. Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.
Question 1. Applicant location (not scored)
You must state the name and full registered address of your organisation and any partners, including your South Korean partners, or subcontractors working on your project.
We are collecting this information to understand the geographical location of all applicants.
Question 2. Need or challenge
What is the business need, technological challenge, or market opportunity behind your innovation?
- the main motivation for the project
- the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity
- whether you have identified any similar innovation and its current limitations, including those close to market or in development
- any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project focuses on developing an existing capability or building a new one
- the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity, such as incoming regulations, using our Horizons tool if appropriate
Question 3. Approach and innovation
What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?
- how you will respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
- how will you improve on the similar innovation that you have identified
- whether the innovation will focus on existing technologies in new areas, the development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach
- the freedom you have to operate
- how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
- how it will make you more competitive
- the nature of the outputs you expect from the project (for example report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design) and how these will help you to target the need, challenge or opportunity identified
- the ethical processes your research will follow
You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 4. Team and resources
Who is in the project team and what are their roles?
- the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team including your South Korean partners that are relevant to the approach you will be taking
- the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them
- the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
- if your project is collaborative, the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
- any roles you will need to recruit for
You can submit one appendix with a short summary of the main people working on your project to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 4 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 5. Market awareness
What does the market you are targeting look like?
- the target markets for the project outcomes and any other potential markets (domestic, international or both)
- the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
- the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
- the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
- the current UK position in targeting these markets
- the size and main features of any other markets not already listed
If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, describe or explain:
- what the market’s size might be
- how your project will try to explore the market’s potential
Question 6. Outcomes and route to market
How are you going to grow your business and increase long term productivity as a result of the project?
- your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
- your target customers or end users, and the value to them, for example, why they would use or buy your product
- your route to market
- how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction
- how the innovation will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
- how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project, for example through know-how, patenting, designs or changes to your business model
- your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project
If there is any research organisation activity in the project, describe:
- your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
- how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities
Question 7. Wider impacts
What impact might this project have outside the project team?
Describe and, where possible, measure the economic benefits from the project such as productivity increases and import substitution, to:
- external parties
- others in the supply chain
- broader industry
- the UK economy
Describe and, where possible, measure:
- any expected impact on government priorities
- any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative
- any expected regional impacts of the project
Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:
- quality of life
- social inclusion or exclusion
- jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
- public empowerment
- health and safety
Question 8. Project management
How will you manage your project effectively?
- the main work packages of your project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
- your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
- the management reporting lines
- your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
You must submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 9. Risks
What are the main risks for this project?
- the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
- how you will mitigate these risks
- any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, and data sets
- any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this
You must submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, up to 2 A4 pages long and no larger than 10MB in size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 10. Added value
How will this public funding help you to accelerate or enhance your approach to developing your project towards commercialisation? What impact would this award have on the organisations involved?
- what advantages public funding would offer your project, for example: appeal to investors, more partners, reduced risk or a faster route to market (this list is not exhaustive)
- the likely impact of the project outcomes on the organisations involved
- what other routes of investment or means of support you have already approached and why they were not suitable
- how any existing or potential investment or support will be used in conjunction with the grant funding
- what your project would look like without public funding
- how this project would change the R&D activities of all the organisations involved
Question 11. Costs and value for money
How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?
In terms of your project goals, explain:
- your total project costs for all UK and South Korean project partners
- the allocation of total eligible project costs for all UK project partners and South Korean project partners
- the grant you are requesting from Innovate UK for the UK partners
- how each UK partner will finance their contributions to your project
- how this project represents value for money for you and the UK taxpayer
- how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
- the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
- any subcontractor costs and why they are critical to your project
Each UK registered organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisation details and funding details in the application. Academic institutions must complete and upload a Je-S form.For full details on what costs you can claim see our project costs guidance.
Background and further information
This competition is jointly operated by Innovate UK and Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) (each an “agency”).
Any relevant information submitted and 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 and MRC in respect of your application may be passed on to KHIDI and vice versa. This would include, but is not restricted to:
- the information stated on the application, including the personal details of all applicants
- scoring and feedback on the application
- information received during the management and administration of the grant, such as Monitoring Officer reports and Independent Accountant Reports
Find a project partner
If you want help to find a project partner in the UK or South Korea, you can join a LinkedIn group to meet and network with other applicants. This is a closed, invitation only group. You can request access to the group here.
Support for SMEs from Innovate UK EDGE
If you receive an award, you will be contacted about working with an innovation and growth specialist at Innovate UK EDGE. This service forms part of our funded offer to you.
These specialists focus on growing innovative businesses and ensuring that projects contribute to their growth. Working one-to-one, they can help you to identify your best strategy and harness world-class resources to grow and achieve scale.We encourage you to engage with Innovate UK EDGE, delivered by a knowledgeable and objective specialist near you.
If you are successful with this application, you will be asked to set up your project.
Selected projects must start by 1 November 2023 - as such, we will require you to provide project start-up information as early as possible and encourage you to prepare required documentation in advance of receiving a decision on your application.
You must follow the unique link embedded in your email notification. This takes you to your IFS Set Up portal, the tool that Innovate UK uses to gather necessary information before we can allow your project to begin.
You will need to provide:
- the name and contact details of your project manager and project finance lead
- a redacted copy of your bank details
- a collaboration agreement with all your UK and South Korean partners
- an exploitation plan
The collaboration agreement must set out how Intellectual Property will be shared amongst all project partners.
In order to process your claims, we need to make sure that the bank details you give to us relate to a UK high street bank that is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The account must have a BACS clearing facility and be in the same company name as your application.
If you have any doubts that your bank account will not meet Innovate UK's funding criteria, you can use the sort code checker. If you input the sort code and find a tick next to the ‘BACS Direct Credit payments can be sent to this sort code’, this will give you an indication that the bank account you hold is acceptable
We will carry out checks to make sure you are an established company with access to the funds necessary to complete the project.
You must check your IFS portal regularly and respond to any requests we have sent for additional information to avoid any delays.
Failure to complete project setup may result in your grant offer being withdrawn.
Your Grant offer letter (GOL)
Once you have successfully completed project setup, we will issue your GOL.
The GOL will be made available on your IFS portal. You will need to sign and upload this before you start your project.
Your GOL will show the start date for your project, do not start your project before this date. Any costs incurred before your start date cannot be claimed as part of your grant.
If your application is unsuccessful
If you are unsuccessful with your application this time, you can view feedback from the assessors. This will be available to you on your IFS portal following notification.Sometimes your application will have scored well, and you will receive positive comments from the assessors. You may be unsuccessful as your average score was not above the funding threshold or your project has not been selected under the portfolio approach if this is applied for this competition.
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