Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

Invention for Innovation (i4i)

Aim: To accelerate the uptake and use of proven new treatments and devices in the NHS. The programme supports projects from prototype and commercial development until a device or technology is ready for clinical testing.

Funding: Awards vary depending on the project, but officially there is no upper limit (annual budget of £20 million):

  • feasibility study: up to £100k for one year
  • applied research project: £150k-£250k for up to three years
  • commercial viability study: up to £100k and 70% funding for one year
  • collaborative applied research project: £100k-£300k and 50% funding for three years.

Process: Two-stage process with independent peer review. All short listed projects are invited to give a 10 minute presentation followed by a 50 minute Q&A session. Applicants need to sell the idea 'Dragon's den' style and then demonstrate that the team is fit to carry out the project. The process takes about 3-4 months.

Criteria: Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • strong evidence of clinical or healthcare need with high relevance to the NHS
  • must be innovative and have potential to generate and exploit intellectual property
  • must have a clear and accessible route to market and identifiable capacity to develop applications and exploit them
  • the project team and project plan must be appropriate for the scale and complexity of the project
  • public involvement is crucial to the project being funded.

Applicants who have attended the i4i Accelerator Programme are 5 times more likely to be funded!!

Website: i4i