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i4i Product development award (call 21)

Health & Life Sciences
Project Size:
No limit


i4i Product Development Awards support the research and development of medical technologies in any area of existing or emerging clinical need. The expected output of i4i funding is an advanced or clinically validated prototype medical device, technology or intervention.

The objectives of i4i are to:

  • Accelerate the development and uptake of innovative products, technologies and interventions for the benefit of patients in the NHS
  • Support collaborative English-led projects targeting unmet healthcare needs
  • Provide translational funding for projects which have demonstrated ‘proof of principle’ and have a clear pathway towards clinical adoption and commercialisation
  • De-risk projects and make them attractive to follow on funders and investors


The lead organisation must be based in England. The following types of organisations are eligible for funding:

  • SMEs (including start-up or ‘spin-out’ companies)
  • NHS organisations (including NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts), and equivalent UK authorities
  • Universities, research institutes and not-for-profit organisations

Specialist services or expertise may be brought into the team through consultancy or sub-contract arrangements. NHS Trust are considered an eligible collaboration. 

Maximum duration of 3 years. There is no upper funding limit, but all costs must be sufficiently justified, and proposals must provide value for money.


The NIHR i4i programme is a translational funding scheme which advances healthcare technologies and interventions for increased patient benefit in areas of existing or emerging clinical need. It supports research and development of medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices.

Funded activities include the following:

  • Research and development of medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices as defined by the relevant EU directives, across all areas of existing or emerging healthcare need
  • Product development required to enable a technology for clinical use; work packages may comprise all aspects around manufacturing, intellectual property protection, freedom to operate analysis and market analysis, business case development, etc
  • Research and development of techniques or technologies from a different industry sector, which could have a potential impact if applied in a healthcare setting
  • Feasibility studies if a technology from a sector other than health is being developed
  • Studies to provide data relating to safety and effectiveness of a device, including first-in-man and pivotal studies
  • Health economic analyses and clinical utility studies, looking at a device’s real-life implementation and use
  • CE marking and other regulatory requirements, including any associated safety trials
  • Activities associated with the adoption of new technology
  • Training associated with the implementation of new technology
  • Digital technologies such as machine learning or artificial intelligence that has shown robust proof of concept

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