Competition opens 17 March 2021

Briefing webinar 4 March at 3:00pm – click here to register

Working together with NHS England and NHS Improvement, SBRI Healthcare Cancer Programme is delighted to announce a £15 million funding competition for innovation to go to the open market in the field of cancer.

The competition invites applications for funding to implement solutions in late-stage development into the following front-line clinical cancer care settings:

  • Early detection and diagnosis of cancer
  • Diagnostic efficiency of cancer services

Further information and supporting documents (more to follow):

  • Cancer Programme Challenge Brief 
  • Invitation to Tender
  • Applicant and Portal Guidance
  • Template application form
  • Cancer Programme Panel list
  • Application Portal
  • FAQs

This competition is launched in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s NHS Cancer Programme.

Under the overall theme of improving cancer services, two categories have been identified via consultation with patients, clinicians, Cancer Alliances and other stakeholders working in the provision of care across the spectrum. The two categories are early detection and diagnosis of cancer; and diagnostic efficiency for cancer services.

Applicants are expected to respond to one (or both) of the two categories, and in both categories should consider if their solution is specific to, or can be tailored to, one of the sub-categories, whilst being mindful of the broader impact on cancer services.

Those submitting applications are asked to consider:
● How will the proposed solution impact on cancer service and how will the system need to be changed (including people, processes and culture), in order to deliver system-wide benefits?
● How will applicants ensure that the innovation will be acceptable to patients (and their families and wider support network) and to clinician groups/health care professionals? How have these groups been involved in the design and development of the innovation?
● How will applicants ensure that the innovation is affordable to the NHS and wider system such as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) both immediately and throughout the sustained life of the product? What evidence, both health economics and delivery of 2 impact will the NHS and wider system require before the technology can be fully adopted?
● How will applicants ensure that the innovation takes into account equity of access and addresses unwarranted variation (e.g. takes account of underserved ethnic or economic groups/digital poverty) and helps the NHS towards its target to reach net zero carbon?
● What is the likely impact of this innovation compared to the current patient pathway and what is the potential impact on stage distribution and survival based on current data?
● How the implementation of this innovation could develop in the long term, taking into account any relevant commitments in the NHS LTP?

Eligibility and expected stage of development of technologies

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 we 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).

The implementation will be 100% funded, and the projects will be funded for a maximum of 18 months in the first instance, and up to £5M. The cost of proposed projects should be inclusive of VAT (contract value).

According to the SBRI Healthcare Phased approach, promising innovations will have the opportunity to bid for follow on funding (for example scaling up implementation, supporting independent evaluations, etc.) subject to independent scrutiny.

The competition is open to single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities, based in Europe. However, due to the nature of the projects that will be supported and the expected outcomes, involvement of appropriate UK clinical partners is expected and engagement with Cancer Alliances is strongly encouraged.

The competition opens on Wednesday 17th March 2021. The deadline for applications is 1pm Wednesday 21st April 2021.

A briefing webinar for those interested in finding out more about this competition will be held on Thursday 4th March 2021click here to register for a place.