Funding competition ISCF healthy ageing trailblazers: stage 1

This is stage 1 of a 2-stage competition. A total fund of up to £2 million is on offer for stage 1 to conduct research and develop a business plan for a healthy ageing ‘trailblazer’. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

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Competition sections

Description

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £2 million in stage 1 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Healthy Ageing Trailblazers.

The aim of the Trailblazers is to encourage businesses and public sector led collaborations, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how products, services and business models which support people as they age will be adopted at scale.

This is stage 1 of a 2-stage competition. You can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to conduct research and develop a business plan. For stage 1 of the competition you can apply as a single applicant. Stage 2 proposals must be collaborative.

In stage 2, the delivery stage, we will invest up to £38 million. (Please note the change made on 19 September 2019 to funding from £1.5 million to £2 million in stage 1 and from £36 million to £38 million in stage 2.) This is to develop and implement the products, services or business models. You can apply for a grant of up to £6 million. (Please note the change made on 11 October 2019 to replace the requirement to have 'individual project costs up to £6 million’ with 'a grant of up to £6 million'.)

Only projects successful in stage 1 will be invited to apply for stage 2.

This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

In stage 1 your project’s total eligible costs may be up to £100,000.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project

Your stage 1 project’s total eligible costs may be up to £100,000. Stage 1 projects can be single or collaborative.

Stage 1 projects must start by 1 June 2020 and end by 30 October 2020. They can last up to 5 months.

Stage 2 of this competition is expected to open in Autumn 2020. Stage 2 projects must be collaborative.

To lead a project or work alone at stage 1 your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size (including social enterprises), or a public sector organisation (including local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • intend to apply for the stage 2 of the competition, if invited
  • intend to lead a collaboration for stage 2 of the competition

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project teams at stage 1 and 2

To collaborate and receive the competition funding together with the lead organisation you must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

If successful at stage 2, your collaborative project must commit to provide 50% match funding.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs but they will not count as collaborators.

Multiple applications

Any one UK registered business or public sector organisation can lead on one application and collaborate in a further 2 applications.

If a UK registered business or public sector organisation is not leading an application, they can collaborate in up to 3 applications.

An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.

Previous applications

Under the terms of Innovate UK funding, you are required to submit an independent accountant’s report (IAR) with your final claim. If you or any organisation in your consortium failed to submit an IAR on a previous project, we will not award funding to you in this or any other competition until we have received the documents.

Funding

We have allocated up to £2 million to fund innovation projects for stage 1. Up to £38 million is available for stage 2 delivery projects. (Please note the change made on 19 Sept to stage 1 funding amount from £1.5 million to £2 million and in stage 2 from £36 million to £38 million.)

Stage 1 projects are defined as feasibility studies and stage 2 projects will be industrial research.

Each UK registered partner can claim a percentage of grant funding. The amount you can claim depends on the size of your organisation. For stage 1 feasibility studies, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

There will be a commitment for projects at stage 2 to provide 50% match funding across their project. Do not apply for stage 1 if you do not have this commitment agreed amongst the lead and collaborators. Information on match funding can be found on the Healthy Ageing challenge fund page. (Please note information added about match funding on 14 November 2019)

Any research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum is shared between them.

This competition provides state aid funding under the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER): Article 25 aid for research and development projects. Activity under stage 1 must comply with the classification of feasibility studies and proposals for stage 2 as industrial research. It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Your proposal

This section covers the aims and objectives for the Trailblazer projects at both stages 1 and 2.

In stage 1, the aim is to develop a business plan and demonstrate readiness in order to obtain funding for your stage 2 Trailblazer project.

The Trailblazers aim to support businesses, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how innovative services, business models and products which support people as they age, will be adopted at scale.

This will be achieved by establishing a number of large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. These will demonstrate through research and development the viability, scalability, transferability and sustainability of disruptive innovations in services, business models and products.

The expected outcome for businesses will be the development and demonstration at scale of new business models. This should work together with the supporting supply chain of services and products that allow them to improve their market offering and secure new revenue streams, including exports.

The outcome for public sector-led collaborations will also be to achieve a positive impact on the target population by providing an ecosystem of sustainable services.

We will fund a portfolio of projects across the 7 themes drawn from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework. This means we expect to fund a spread of projects across multiple areas. We have a particular interest in projects whose principal focus covers one or more of the first 3 of these 7 themes:

1. Sustaining physical activity

2. Maintaining health at work

3. Designing for age-friendly homes

4. Managing common complaints of ageing

5. Living well with cognitive impairment

6. Supporting social connections

7. Creating healthy and active places

You should propose which themes from the framework will be the focus for your intervention. Successful applicants will be expected to look to exploit synergies across the multiple framework themes.

Although our focus is on the 7 themes, we will consider projects that address healthy ageing challenges outside of these themes.

Your proposed approach as an applicant must:

1. Incorporate principles of user-centred design. Solution development is expected to involve co-creation through an iterative process that links to a robust plan to achieve the target scale.

2. Address the tension between innovation and implementation, and the barriers to adoption

3. Establish an evaluation method specific to the proposed scope which will need to be approved by UK Research and Innovation as part of your stage 2 application

4. Demonstrate commitment to contribute to a challenge-wide set of knowledge sharing and evaluation activities determined by UK Research and Innovation

Your projects must outline:

  • the intended benefits of the project
  • the populations that will be used to demonstrate those benefits
  • how that population will be accessed.
  • how significant inequalities in health-span will be targeted
  • how to reach both urban and rural populations, if appropriate depending on the target population
  • a clear commitment to achieve the overall 50% match-funding in stage 2
  • a strategy to further exploit healthy ageing related markets on completion of the Trailblazer proposed project

Research categories

In stage 1 we will fund feasibility projects, and in stage 2 industrial research as defined in the general guidance.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding:

  • innovations that involve the introduction of novel health and care system-wide collaborative funding mechanisms, such as accountable care
  • clinical or fundamental research
  • the development of early stage technologies
  • projects that cannot obtain at least 50% match funding for their stage 2 project
  • overseas businesses or organisations

23 September 2019
Competition opens
3 October 2019
London briefing event
4 October 2019
Briefing event recording
27 November 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
21 January 2020
Invite to interview
17 February 2020
Interview panel
13 March 2020
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the general guidance for applicants before you start.

If your stage 1 written application passes assessment, you will be invited to attend an interview where you must give a presentation. The interviews will be held in London.

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

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to 5 people from your project can attend, ideally one person from each organisation. 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 20 minutes
  • have no more than 20 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it.

Written response to assessor feedback

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

  • be up to 4 A4 pages in 11 point font with single line spacing
  • be 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 your stage 1 application form and the assessor feedback.

Interviews will also be held at stage 2.

Interviews

If your stage 1 written application passes assessment, you will be invited to attend an interview where you must give a presentation. The interviews will be held in London.

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

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to 5 people from your project can attend, ideally one person from each organisation. 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 20 minutes
  • have no more than 20 slides
  • not include any video or embedded web links

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it.

Written response to assessor feedback

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

  • be up to 4 A4 pages in 11 point font with single line spacing
  • be 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 your stage 1 application form and the assessor feedback.

Interviews will also be held at stage 2.

What we will ask you

The stage 1 application is split into 3 sections:

1. Project details.

2. Application questions.

3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section sets the scene for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Project summary

Provide an executive summary of the proposal outlining

  • key features and benefits of the proposal
  • the broad significance of the work planned,
  • the contribution to the ISCF Healthy ageing objectives, and
  • the additional benefit that arises from the specific collaboration

This question will not be scored but provides a useful overview for the assessment

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Public description

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.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will be rejected immediately and will not be sent for assessment. We will give you feedback on why. Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers. You will receive feedback from them for each one.

Do not include any URLs in your answers.

Question 1: Approach and innovation

This question will be marked out of 20.

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the service innovation be? The answer should also cover what you intend to do in stage 2.

Outline the scope of your proposal, including:

  • the vision and objectives
  • what you intend to do
  • what aspects of the proposal are novel
  • how the approach will provide a significant improvement in the user experience
  • whether it is based on concepts and technologies that have been demonstrated to be effective at a small scale
  • the specific geographic area you intend to work with
  • your freedom to operate, including whether you own intellectual property

Your answer can be up to 1,000 words long.

You can submit charts or diagrams as one appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, legible at 100% zoom and can be up to 4 pages long.

Question 2: Need or challenge

This question will be marked out of 15.

What is the market opportunity driving your service innovation?

State what the proposed Trailblazer project will seek to address. This must include:

  • why your organisation / consortium is best placed to exploit this market opportunity
  • the specific need being addressed
  • the healthy ageing theme or themes the proposal aims to improve?
  • which of the 7 themes is the main focus of the project
  • the populations or consumer demographic you intend to target such as, people over 55 who have fallen out of work through ill health
  • the needs of the market that have prevented previous innovators from achieving scale and adoption and how your project will address this
  • 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

Your answer can be up to 750 words long.

Question 3. Market awareness

This question will be marked out of 10.

What does the market you are targeting look like?

Assessors would be evaluating your understanding and assessment of the market opportunity that is driving your innovation or proposition

Describe or explain:

  • the size of the target market in the UK and globally for the project outcomes, backed up with references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the target market(s), including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the wider key economic, social, environmental, cultural or political factors which affects the opportunity
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • how the proposed approach will disrupt the current market and encourage adoption and spread

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 4. Added value

This question will be marked out of 5.

What impact would an injection of public funding have on the businesses involved in this project?

Describe or explain:

  • the case for public funding and the additional impact it would have on commitment to R&D
  • why this work could not proceed with just private funding, and indicate how the objectives would make the businesses attractive to private investment to support sustained growth
  • whether this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make, such as a faster route to market, more partners or reduced risk
  • how this project would change the nature of R&D activity the partners would undertake, and the related spend

Your answer must cover the full proposed scope, including stage 2. It can be up to 300 words long.

Question 5: Team and resource

This question will be marked out of 10.

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?

Assessors would be evaluating the leadership skills and experiences across the consortium members, determining if these are aligned to the vision and goals of the project and if the consortium team has complementary skills

Describe or explain:

  • the main people involved in leading the project in both stages 1 and 2, their roles, their relevant qualifications and experience
  • the partners and sub-contractors you expect to be involved in the full project at stage 2 in order of the size of their contribution, and give a brief description of their role and the capability they bring
  • the current relationships between the project partners the nature and status of any partnership agreement and how these will change as a result of the project
  • any known gaps you are looking to fill

Your answer can be up to 800 words long.

You can submit one appendix with CVs and company profiles to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 6. Project management

This question will be marked out of 5.

How will you manage the project effectively?

Describe or explain:

  • the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools, governance frameworks 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
  • Your answer must cover:
  • stage 1 in detail, with the main work packages and costs
  • stage 2 in outline, giving a description of the scope and timing of the intended high-level milestones

Your answer can be up to 300 words long.

You must submit a project plan or Gantt charts as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF, legible at 100% zoom and can be up to 4 pages.

Question 7. Wider impacts

This question will be marked out of 10.

What wider impact and benefit might this project have? Your answer must cover the impacts on completion of stage 2.

Describe, and where possible measure:

  • what social and economic benefits you seeking to demonstrate
  • how you will measure and report the benefits
  • outline the theories of change or logic model for the innovation
  • what interim measures you will use to track progress

The expected social impacts, either positive or negative could include for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion or exclusion
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • public empowerment
  • regulations

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 8. Outcomes and route to market

This question will be marked out of 10.

How are the businesses involved going to grow and increase their profitability, scale and spread into the long term as a result of the project?

Describe or explain:

  • your plans to exploit the market on completion of stage 2 and your approach to addressing what else needs to happen in the supply chain or value chain to continue improving adoption and spread
  • your route to market and how you will profit, scale, spread and sustain after the project
  • how the innovation will affect your profitability 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 may have identified
  • what you expect the export potential to be
  • how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
  • yours and partners current position in the market, and whether you and they will be extending or establishing your market position
  • how this project will make you more competitive

Your answer can be up to 500 words long.

Question 9. Risks

This question will be marked out of 10.

What are the main risks for this project?

In addition, describe or explain:

  • how you will manage and mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how you will manage this

Your answer must cover the full proposed scope, including stage 2. It can be up to 300 words long.

Provide a risk register as an appendix describing the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, regulatory, managerial and environmental risks. It must be a PDF, legible at 100% zoom and can be up to 2 A4 pages long.

Question 10. Costs and value for money

This question will be marked out of 5.

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

Your response must cover stage 1 only.

Describe or explain:

  • the total eligible project costs and the grant you are requesting in terms of the project goals
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to the project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project
  • provide a narrative outline for stage 2 budget explaining your initial estimate for the proposed total project costs and percentage that will be covered by match funding.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisational details and funding details. Academic institutions will need to complete and upload a Je-S form. For full details on what costs you can claim please see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

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