NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator

The Innovation Exchange Programme is supporting the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) with Oxford Innovation Advice (OIA) to find innovative UK companies who are ambitious to grow their business, with new product or service ideas that can support us to stay healthy and active to help us to remain mobile and connected as we age. We will be providing free expert assistance, particularly focussing on the growing market opportunities in China.

Funding Details

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Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to benefit from a business growth support package delivered by Oxford Innovation on behalf of NICA to strengthen their entry into the Chinese Healthy Ageing market.

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We seek innovators with new product or service ideas that can support people to stay healthy and active to help people remain mobile and connected as they age. Applicants must be UK Registered companies. Any applications from companies outside the UK will not be considered.

The free-of-charge NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator programme is targeted at high-growth potential companies of any size and from any part of the UK. It will provide expert support to help companies to maximise their business growth including assisting participants to explore the fast-growing China Market. Successful applicants will benefit from 9 weeks of tailored fully funded support from NICA, Oxford Innovation Advice, and KTN experts. The first week of the programme will require full-time “in person” participation in Newcastle upon Tyne. We are now recruiting the second group of ten participants. The first group are currently undertaking the programme and deriving significant benefit.

The healthy longevity market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The market in China is the largest geographically-defined opportunity for this. Our Accelerator Programme includes a de-risking pathway to enter this (China) market and make UK businesses competitive as well as growth and export-ready.

This Accelerator programme is open to businesses with any ideas for products or services that may help a person (of any age) to live a complete and mobile life and be confident of being able to go out safely as well as safely return to their own home and again, have the confidence to move around and do tasks in their own home safely and competently. Products and services which help us retain or further develop existing mobility levels are also welcomed.

Rewards & Benefits

The Accelerator will be hosted in the multi-award-winning Catalyst Innovation Centre in central Newcastle upon Tyne which is also the home of NICA itself. The programme will begin with a one-week Induction programme which will be highly interactive and delivered face-to-face. All other activities and resources will be provided optionally as face-to-face, virtual, or mixed-mode interventions. This is a highly flexible offer. The teams at NICA, OIA and KTN (and other experts such as DIT plus China geographical experts) will all provide support and content. This will include an Entrepreneur in Residence who can support your business throughout its journey through the Accelerator Programme. Full details of the programme are available on the Innovation Exchange site below.

We anticipate that individuals participating in this programme will be Chief Executive/Managing Director or Director level.


The innovations that are being sought should be at a Technology Readiness Level of 7 (demonstrated within an operational environment) and above and therefore close to market-ready. The products should help the healthy ageing agenda and can be from any sized company and from any sector. We also welcome products and services that could be adapted or marketed for the longevity market but may not as yet be targeted there.

We are looking for products and services that help with improving people’s lives by supporting:

  • Hearing
  • Eyesight and vision
  • Navigating spaces and transit
  • lnhouse mobility and daily living
  • Micromobility
  • Transport as a service
  • Automotive
  • Access to public transport or private transport
  • Integration of transport and other services to support personal mobility
  • Broad consumer appeal to your product or service encouraged – aspirational products or services are a ‘sweet spot’ in this domain

The functional requirements are very broad and can include, but are not limited to physical, electronic or digital products, services or systems.


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