How we help innovators to apply for prestigious funding opportunities
Securing funding for novel healthcare innovations is a competitive business. Often failure to secure funding isn’t down to issues with the product itself. Innovators don’t always dedicate enough time to understanding how to tell the right story, gathering the right evidence or familiarising themselves with each funder’s particular format and process.
This is where we as Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network and Unity Insights can help you. We have a successful track record of helping innovators to secure funding. For example, over the past decade, KSS AHSN supported innovators to achieve over £7.5m in funding.
SBRI Healthcare is an initiative funded through NHS England’s Accelerated Access Collaborative that supports the development of new innovations which meet known NHS challenges. The programme has now run over 20 competitions. It is supported by the AHSN Network and managed by LGC Group.
SBRI grants can provide a vital boost to innovators, with the potential of significant investment and support to take their innovation to the next level. Being awarded a grant is a highly competitive process and takes a considerable amount of effort. Applications must provide specific and detailed information to demonstrate that the innovation is viable, and will benefit substantially, should the grant be awarded.
Of the grants most recently awarded during 2022/23, KSS AHSN, often in partnership with the Unity Insights team, has been involved in seven of them. Between 2013-2022, KSS AHSN has been associated with 17 successful bids granted over £7.5m in funding for the innovators and winning partnerships.
‘Many innovating companies, individuals and organisations come to us for support around evaluation and evidence. This is both KSS AHSN’s and Unity Insight’s area of expertise, providing robust evaluations, visualising complex data, and offering advice on procurement routes within the NHS. The combined breadth of knowledge of the healthcare sector, and the strength of each team means we are unmatched in this field.’
KSS AHSN’s support for innovators takes many forms, from providing initial guidance for innovators at an early stage, to more active support and advice for those who are ready to apply. The team helps innovators in other areas too, by providing guidance on gaps in their value proposition or evidence base, to developing a proof of concept prototype, or connecting them with health and care experts, plus much more.
Collaboration is key
Unity Insights was formerly the analytics and evaluation function of KSS AHSN and formed as a separate organisation in 2021 – a recognition of the need and growing demand for real-world evidence that can show the potential impact of innovations for improve people’s health and wellbeing.
‘I have been delighted to watch the collaboration between the organisations since Unity’s separation from KSS AHSN. Our aim from the outset was to increase our impact and transform more lives as a result, and the collaborative work that our teams carry out supporting innovators to bid for and deliver SBRI grants is an important part of that journey.’
The SBRI perspective
‘Awarded companies can benefit from the AHSNs extensive network and support to develop, test, and spread innovation. The AHSNs are instrumental in bringing together experts and establishing local partnerships, connecting innovators with Integrated Care Systems, regional medical directors and procurement.
Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN and Unity’s collaboration is an example of the exceptional ways the AHSNs are supporting innovators to conduct real world testing to accelerate innovation for patient benefit.’
The innovator’s perspective
Innovators too have shared their experiences of working with us. Details of our work with Definition Health, Pulse Cardiology, Dr Julian and Cyted are included in the case study.
‘I’ve known KSS AHSN and worked with them for a long time, so I mentioned SBRI to them and asked if they thought I should apply. Because we’d already completed an evaluation previously, I was keen to work with Unity Insights again for the evaluation element of the bid. KSS AHSN agreed and also gave us support with a bid writer, who really helped me to hone the messaging. Without that I would have really struggled.’