Funding competition SBRI – Healthy Ageing Social Ventures feasibility studies

Organisations can apply for a share of £1 million inclusive of VAT to develop products and services to support healthy ageing.

Start new application

Or sign in to continue an existing application.

Competition sections

Description

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UKRI. The aim of the competition is to fund organisations to deliver social impact and address one or more of the 7 themes of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework.

UKRI will award up to £4 million inclusive of VAT across 2 strands. These are:

  1. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures Feasibility Studies for projects with costs up to £50,000 (this strand)
  2. Healthy Ageing Social Ventures industrial research for projects with costs from £50,000 to £150,000 for prototype development and evaluation

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition.

A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1, availability of further funding and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.

Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

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

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the date of the deadline.

Funding type

Procurement

Project size

Projects must range in size up to £50,000 inclusive of VAT.

Who can apply

Your project

Projects must:

  • start by 1 March 2022
  • end by 28 February 2023
  • have total eligible project costs up to £50,000 inclusive of VAT

Projects can last up to 12 months.

Applicant

To lead a project, you must:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with other organisations as subcontractors
  • exist wholly 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 profits after tax so surpluses are used to achieve social or environmental impacts

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity.

However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Previously submitted applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Eligibility overview

Here is a diagram showing a summary of eligibility.

This is a new way of showing you eligibility. Your feedback will help us to improve it.

Funding

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million, inclusive of VAT.

In this strand, feasibility studies contracts will be awarded up to £50,000 inclusive of VAT, for each project up to 12 months.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the provisional funding allocations
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach based on geography, themes, scale of project and sustainability

Value Added Tax (VAT)

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

If you are VAT registered then 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 are not VAT registered, then you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. You will not be able to increase invoice values 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.

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to research and development (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 proposal

The aim of this competition is to enable businesses with a social purpose to develop and deliver innovative products and services.

Your project 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 clearly identified and existing lead customer
  • demonstrate the technical, development and market feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • describe how your innovation is addressing 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
  • establish ongoing collaboration between all members of the project team
  • formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts

Products and services benefitting the general public must be accessible without restrictions and barriers such as affordability.

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

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

Feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • do not have a strong social impact or 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 have an existing lead customer
  • involve the development of early stage technologies

19 July 2021
Competition opens
3 August 2021
Online briefing event: join at 2.30pm
15 September 2021 11:00am
Competition closes
1 November 2021
Interviews start
12 November 2021
Interviews end
26 November 2021
Feedback available
26 November 2021
Applicants notified
1 March 2022
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 final contract will include any details you have agreed with the funding authority and will be sent to you if your application is successful. The contract is binding once the contract is returned by the applicant and signed by both parties. The terms and conditions included in the draft contract should not substantially change.

When you start an application on the Innovation Funding Service you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. You will need an account to track the progress of your application.

As the lead applicant you will be 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

A selected panel of assessors will review and score your application. All applicants will be provided feedback.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

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

Interviews

If your online application is successful at this stage, 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.

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 10 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.

1. Project details

These sections are not scored.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. 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.

Equality diversity and inclusion

We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

You must complete this EDI survey and then select yes in the application question. The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.

Project summary

Please provide a short summary of your project and describe how it meets the scope of the competition.

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? How does your organisation meet the criteria for social enterprises as described above?

Give details of the lead organisation. Before you submit, we expect you to have discussed your application within your own organisation and any other relevant organisations.

List any organisations you have named as subcontractors.

Your answer for this section can be up to 800 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.

Public description

Please provide a brief description of your project.

This question is mandatory, but we will not assess this content as part of your application.

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. 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.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers for questions 3 to 10, questions 1 and 2 are not scored. You will receive feedback from them for each scored question.

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. Project partners location (not scored)

Text update [21 July 2021]: we have changed added guidance to make it clearer that we need this information for all participants and why.

You must state the name of your organisation along with your full registered address.

If you are working in collaboration you must also state the name and full registered address of all your partners.

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

Question 2. Themes (not scored)

Which Healthy Ageing theme does your project address?

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 3. Proposed idea, service or technology

Provide a brief description of your proposed idea, service or technology. How does it address the areas described in the competition scope?

Highlight how this builds on your existing service and the specific population or consumer demographic you are now targeting?

Describe the current state of development or readiness of the idea.

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

Give a short background to the main technical, societal or environmental challenges you are looking to address.

Describe or explain:

  • how you will address the challenge
  • what the innovation is
  • 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
  • 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 technical approach?’

Question 5. Current state of the art and intellectual property

Detail other products or services currently available on the market and how the innovation of your proposed project differentiates 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 works, can be made into a viable and scalable service or product and can achieve the proposed benefits.

Describe or explain:

  • what resources will be needed to deliver the project
  • what the main success criteria would be
  • the identified project management processes that will ensure you achieve your milestones
  • the main technical, 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

Please ensure that if you are working with subcontractors you explain how you will maintain freedom to operate and fulfil the IP requirements detailed in the contract.

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.

This question will be assessed against these assessment criteria: ‘Does the proposal show a clear plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility and the development of a working prototype? Is there a clear management plan What are the main technical, commercial and environmental risks to project success? Will these be effectively managed? Are the milestones and evaluation procedures 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 or development team and expertise

Provide a brief description of your technical or development team. Include the expertise of each team member or subcontractor that is relevant to your application, outlining why they are critical to the project’s success and how much of their time will be spent on 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 or explain:

  • the total eligible project costs, inclusive of VAT, you are requesting in terms of the project goals
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer

You can submit a single appendix as a spreadsheet 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.

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.

If you are not VAT registered, then you must give your costs without VAT. You will not be able to increase invoice values to cover VAT after you have submitted an application.

We cannot provide VAT advice and advise you to seek independent advice for example from HMRC.

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. In other words, does the proposed cost for effort and deliverables reflect a fair market price? 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 and scalability

Describe how you would realise the commercial potential of your proposal and to what timescales, including a clear plan to deliver that and a route to market.

Focus on your proposed customer’s needs but you may also mention the future commercial potential across the public or private sector and the international market.

How far is the challenge you are addressing shared across the public and private sector in the UK and further afield?

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

Describe how your business plans to scale its activities, giving examples such as geographical, organisation size, revenue. Provide clear milestones and timelines.

This question will be scored against these assessment criteria: ‘Is there a clear commercial potential for a marketable product, process or service and a clear plan to deliver that and a clear route to market? How significant is the competitive advantage of this technology or service over existing technologies or services that meet the market’s needs? Does this business 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 10. Social Purpose and Focus

Describe how your organisation exists wholly or mainly to provide benefits for society. Provide a full description of how your organisation delivers social impact to your chosen end users and wider community.

Describe or explain:

  • how objects set out in your constitutional documents form a constitutional lock and are primarily concerned with protecting your social or environmental mission
  • your policy in relation to the distribution of profits after tax to ensure that surpluses are used to best achieve social or environmental impact
  • the evidence of a causal link between your business operations, activities and the implementation and achievement of your declared social or environmental impact
  • how all social impact will be articulated, evidenced, measured and reported
  • how your business approaches equality and diversity

Describe your commitment to particular social outcomes for a clearly identified set of beneficiaries that are related to your social or environmental mission. Where these benefits are for the general public, explain how you ensure that access to products and services is without restrictions and barriers such as affordability.

This question will be scored against the assessment criteria: 'Does your organisation exist wholly or mainly to provide benefit for society? Is your business committed to social outcomes and impact? Does the business address equality adequately and have equality and diversity as part of the business objectives?'

3. Finances

Enter your project costs, milestones, organisation details and funding details. For full information on what costs you can claim, see our project costs guidance.

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

If you are VAT registered then 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 are not VAT registered, then you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT. You will not be able to increase invoice values 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

Background and further information

About UKRI and the Healthy Ageing Challenge

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) £98million Healthy Ageing Challenge will help people to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across generations for as long as possible. It also aims to narrow the gap in the experience of ageing between the richest and poorest. The challenge funds and supports businesses, including social enterprises, to create products and services to help people as they age, and deliver them at scale.

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 organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. 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.

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.

Further help and information

If you want help with connecting to others in the sector, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

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

If you need support with the application process, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 11:30am or 2pm and 4.30pm 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 as a result 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.

Need help with this service? Contact us