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Welcome to the December AHSN Funding Newsletter. This bulletin alerts you to funding opportunities, international opportunities, events and other relevant AHSN news. For each opportunity we have provided a brief summary and a link to full details.

You can access free advice and support from the NIHR Research Design Service South East. Their multi-disciplinary team offer advice on the key ingredients to help turn a research idea into a competitive funding application. They provide help at any stage of the process - whether at the beginning of the research design journey, or one click away from submitting. Contact via their website.

| Contents

 1: Featured Funding Opportunities

>  2: General Funding Opportunities
>  3: Trusts & Charities
>  4: Other UK Government, Seed Funds & Loans
>  5: International Grants
>  6: Events

| Featured Funding Opportunities

Accelerating trustworthy AI: Phase 1 feasibility study Deadline: 25 January 2023
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million in grant funding to form consortia to deliver feasibility studies.

Sustainable bio-based materials and manufacture: feasibility study Deadline: 1 February 2023
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for feasibility studies to develop and improve sustainable biomanufacturing in the UK.

FAST funding scheme Deadline: 15 February 2023
The i4i FAST (Funding At the Speed of Translation) funding scheme is open to applications from 12 December 2022 for Pilot 2. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. The available budget is approximately £1.5m, and the pilot will close on 15 February or once the funding has been allocated. FAST supports applications of between £15k and £50k that will answer a specific question, fund a single piece of activity to fill a specific evidence gap across all technology readiness levels. Please read the applicant guidance for further detail. 



| General Funding Opportunities

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. 

Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 9 – Stage 1 Deadline: 4 January 2023
UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £3 million to resolve productivity and competitiveness issues by working with top scientists and research facilities.

Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition – Round 7 Deadline: 11 January 2023
UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

Innovate UK Smart Grants: October 2022 Deadline: 18 January 2023
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, is a non-departmental public body, and is the largest UK public funder of non-medical bioscience. It predominantly funds scientific research institutes and university research departments in the UK.

BBSRC standard research grant Deadline: Open call

You can apply for research grants at any time in any area within the remit of BBSRC. BBSRC funds research in plants, microbes, animals (including humans), and the tools and technology underpinning biological research from the level of molecules and cells, to tissues, whole organisms, populations and landscapes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research is the British government’s major funder of clinical, public health, social care and translational research. Its mission is to "improve the health and wealth of the nation through research".

NIHR i4i Connect  Deadline: 18 January 2023
i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and Tier C digital health technologies with direct patient benefits, looking to ultimately integrate into the NHS. The funding stream aims to help SMEs reach the next stage in the development pathway to apply for further funding, in particular for an i4i Product Development Award. i4i Connect is researcher-led and does not specify topics for research. 

DASA aims to find and fund exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity.

Open Competition Deadline: Open call
The Open Call is one of the funding competition mechanisms DASA uses to find proposals that address challenges faced by government stakeholders. It gives bidders the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders at any time, without waiting for a relevant Themed Competition.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK - and around the world - by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. 

Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) - Deadline: Open call
This fund is to support businesses investing in life sciences manufacturing projects in the UK.


ESRC Research Grant Deadline: Open call
If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the ESRC have their Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development.

The NC3RS is a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to helping the research community worldwide to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for medical testing.

| Trusts & Charities

The Health Foundation
HF's aim is a healthier population, supported by high quality health care that can be equitably accessed. HF learns what works to make people’s lives healthier and improve the health care system. From giving grants to those working at the front line to carrying out research and policy analysis, they shine a light on how to make successful change happen.

The British Heart Foundation
BHF provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career. They also provide grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.

Association of Medical Research Charities
Over 30 years ago a small, diverse group of medical research charities form the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) to unite the sector and provide it with a leading voice. Since then their membership has grown to over 140 charities.  In 2018, these charities invested £1.3 billion in medical research.

| Other UK Government, Seed Funds & Loans

The British Business Bank Deadline: Open

BBB are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they say that they can deliver greater volume and choice of finance.

Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funding. General 'collection' of news and funds

Information about SBRI for businesses and public sector organisations that might want to use the scheme.

UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund Deadline: Open

The UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly known as The Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base.

Creative England Investments Deadline: Open

Creative England is supporting SMEs by providing competitive loans to digital businesses in order to make their growth plans a reality. The investments on offer are intended to fuel this fast-growing sector by financing business expansion and new products, leading to the creation of new high-quality jobs and Intellectual Property (IP). Loans from £50,000 – £250,000 are available with repayment terms ranging from 3-36 months. Interest rates range from 5% – 10%, depending on the risk profile of the applicant. This includes companies from within the digital healthcare sector.

HSBC Loan Fund Deadline: Open

HSBC UK has announced a £14 billion lending fund to support the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Fund includes a ring-fenced £1 billion to help UK companies grow their business overseas, as well as a broader package of support. The initiative is available to UK businesses with a turnover of up to £350 million. Applicants do not need to be an HSBC customer to apply.

| International Grants


Global Innovation Fund Deadline: Open call
GIF focuses on solutions that have the potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches, can come from anyone, anywhere. They seek out innovations they believe have the greatest potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty.

The EIC Accelerator: Open Competition (Grants only)
The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations.

Other international funds of interest:
NICA Healthy Ageing Accelerator: China Competition
The Global Challenges Research Fund
The Newton Fund

| Events & News

KTN - Health Funding Map
Accessing R&D funding for early stage companies is complicated by the plethora of schemes available that all have different rules and are constantly changing. KTN and BIA are please to announce the launch of a Health Funding Map that will help in the navigation of the complicated world of innovation funding.
To find out more about how KSS AHSN can support your business or innovation, visit the Bridging the Gap webpage or drop us an email at
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