This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by NHS Scotland. The aim of the competition is to pioneer remote vision testing.

Successful applicants will receive 100% funding and have access to advice from NHS Forth Valley, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Fife and NHS Grampian.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent phase 2 competition.

Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

The first phase involves research and development (R&D) contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £40,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase.

Feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £10,000, inclusive of VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months.

We expect to fund up to 4 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

We would welcome bids from a single entity that bring together sector specialists

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing

The second phase will involve up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £30,000, inclusive of VAT, will be allocated for each contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 9 months.

The contract is completed at the end of phase 2, and the successful business is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution.

Phase 1 projects are expected to start by end February 2021 and can last up to 3 months.

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with other organisations

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity. However, if you can justify subcontracting components of the work, you can employ specialist consultants or advisers. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

We would welcome bids that bring together sector specialists, for example use of relevant NHS, academic and commercial expertise as subcontractors.

We are looking for:

  • experience with computer vision techniques
  • experience with high fidelity graphical representation and web-based platform development
  • a background in vision science and vision testing
  • regulatory experience regarding medical devices

In phase 1, you must:

  • demonstrate the technical feasibility of your proposed innovation
  • establish ongoing collaboration between technical and clinical members of the project team
  • formalise any required ethical approvals, data sharing agreements and contracts
  • begin working with clinical and imaging data

In phase 2 you must:

  • develop and evaluate a prototype of your solution
  • test the prototype on real-world data and systems within the indicated Scottish NHS health boards to establish clinical utility
  • develop a plan for full commercial exploitation

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

The aim of this competition is to improve eyesight testing so that it can be done at home, in school and in under-served communities. Live remote supervision would be provided by healthcare professionals. The results would link to and integrate with, Scottish NHS health board patient systems.

Eye problems will be more easily detected, monitored and managed to prevent sight loss. Your project must bring together low-cost digital solutions and sources of relevant information to solve the challenges of:

  • access to eye testing
  • quicker diagnostics
  • enabling self-checks

We are looking for proposals that:

  • focus on the needs of the person whose vision is being tested
  • have a high degree of accuracy
  • are easy to engage with

You must:

  • make sure the solution can be effectively and securely integrated to NHS Scotland IT infrastructure
  • have an understanding of how any technology solutions or products will be economically sound and affordable for the NHS if adopted
  • have clinical and commercial potential locally, nationally and globally
  • test eyesight in both non healthcare and healthcare settings
  • combine low cost and existing devices, available in a typical home, for real time and “save and send” tests of vision

You must consider, in either adults or children, or both:

  • visual acuity
  • colour vision
  • visual field

An online briefing event will be held on 30 September 2020 from 2.30-4pm: click here to register to attend.