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Health & Life Sciences
Project Size:
Up to £5 million


The funding competition of up to £15 million, which will be delivered by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with SBRI Healthcare Cancer Programme will swiftly bring new and existing cancer care innovations to the NHS frontline.


The goal is to ensure practical translation of leading research and innovation, directly into cancer care, seeking to directly benefit patients by addressing the challenges of early detection and diagnosis along with the diagnostic efficiency of cancer services. Applications are welcomed for innovative, creative and future proof ideas across medical devices, digital health and equipment, behaviour intervention and new models of care.



The call is open to products at late stage of development. The aim is to accelerate these innovations into front-line clinical settings by shortening the gap between the evidence usually delivered by traditional safety/efficacy clinical trials typically required for regulatory approvals (CE marking or equivalent), and the evidence which is required by commissioners and regulators to be able to make purchasing or other recommendations/decisions.  By late stage the funders mean innovations and technologies that have already proved their clinical effectiveness and are ready to be rolled out locally or nationally for real world testing.


The call is open to any innovation (e.g. medical device, in vitro diagnostic, digital health solutions, behavioural intervention, software, hardware, technology, new models of care etc.) which meets the following requirements:

  • CE mark or equivalent regulatory approval obtained, and /or
  • in use in at least 1 Trust (use in a large-scale research study would qualify for this criterion).


The aim of the funding is to generate evidence to support rapid local/regional/national spread (not classical RCT generated evidence).


Involvement of appropriate UK clinical partners is expected and engagement with Cancer Alliances is strongly encouraged.


The NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 set out two bold ambitions for improving cancer outcomes:

  • by 2028, 55,000 more people will survive cancer for five years or more each year
  • by 2028, 75% of people will be diagnosed at an early stage (stage one or two)


This call is designed to support the early diagnosis ambition.


Categories of research: 

  • Early detection and diagnosis of cancer - applications for either generic or cancer site specific solutions will be considered. There are, however, some tumour sites which are particularly challenged and for which submissions would be welcomed (e.g. pancreatic, head and neck, oesophageal, stomach, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and ovarian cancers)
  • Diagnostic efficiency – seeking innovations or interventions that improve diagnostic efficiency for cancer services, for example, by triaging and risk-stratifying referrals, streamlining services, increasing productivity and supporting safety netting of patients.


The call will not support: basic research; generation of scientific and technological knowledge, or development of research ideas, hypotheses and experimental designs that have no practical commercial application, and clinical trials aimed solely at determining effectiveness of a product.


By project end the innovation should be embedded into practice in a number of NHS locations; there should be clear, high quality evaluation of the innovation against agreed criteria and a well-defined plan for further work to embed the innovation, including the possibility of follow-on funding. 

Interested in this call? Book a free consultation with our team
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