Innovation in health and life sciences round 3


Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in innovation projects. These should address challenges in health and life sciences (H&LS) that lead to increased agri-food productivity, quality and sustainability or improved healthcare outcomes.

Projects must show significant innovation in one of our priority areas:
  • increasing agricultural productivity
  • improving food quality and sustainability
  • advanced therapies (cell and gene therapies)
  • precision medicine
  • medicines discovery
  • preclinical technologies
  • advanced biosciences
Proposals must show how projects will enable a significant change in competitiveness and productivity for at least one UK SME involved in the project.  They are accepting applications for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in H&LS at this time.

Applications need to address at least one of the following themes:

Increasing agricultural productivity:

  • advanced and precision engineering
  • fighting agro-chemical and antimicrobial resistance
  • enhancing resilience to biotic and abiotic stress
  • individualised livestock/aquaculture nutrition and healthcare
  • novel genetics and breeding

Improved food quality and sustainability:

  • authenticity and traceability
  • enhanced nutritional value
  • food safety
  • modern methods of food manufacturing
  • new and smarter ingredients
  • protein development
  • smarter packaging

Precision medicine:

Focuses on the better selection of more targeted treatments for patients by combining clinical knowledge with advances in diagnostic techniques and data analysis.

You must make it clear how your proposed technology will advance precision medicine and how it improves the treatment selection process.

We will support:

  • either: early diagnosis of Cancer or Paediatric Oncology
  • “Diagnostic Tools” for Advanced Therapies (products requiring good manufacturing practice (GMP) based on cellular or product characteristics)

Advanced therapies:

  • increasing the UK’s commercial capacity to manufacture viral vectors for use in the development of cell and gene therapies to treat human disease and disorders
  • processing or manufacturing technologies for advanced therapies products including those suitable for near-patient application
  • technology or processes that lower production costs
  • tools and techniques for quality control to enable real-time product release

Medicines discovery and preclinical technologies:

  • innovative platform technologies for analysing, screening and optimising potential new medicines
  • novel in vitro and in vivo models that determine the mechanism of action, efficacy, or safety of potential new medicines
  • novel artificial intelligence approaches to drug discovery


  • synthetic biology technologies including gene synthesis and assembly, strain development, “parts” characterisation and standards
  • computational systems biology technologies for replicating and predicting biological activity in silico
  • naturally inspired: biomimicry and applied evolutionary biology

Key Dates:

2 October 2017 Competition opens

12 October 2017 Applicant briefing event in London

6 December 2017 12:00pm Competition closes

16 March 2018 Applicants notified

If you are interested in this competition?

Please email the Innovation SuperNetwork team at or complete the form below so we can help you and guide you through the application process.

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Our work is only possible with the support of our local and national partners, including Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, the North East LEP, Northumbrian WaterNorth East BICReece Innovation and ENGIE with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Huge thanks go to all our partners.