Frequently Asked Questions
The Accelerating FemTech: Accelerate programme is for companies with early-stage products solving women’s health challenges. It is a competitive programme which will allow successful companies whether established businesses, start-ups or just founded by entrepreneurial-minded academics to test their ideas and develop concepts with support from key stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem.
The programme is one of four pilot accelerator programmes with different areas of clinical focus being established by Innovate UK. Find out more.
The Biomedical Catalyst programme provides funding to help businesses test and develop innovative health and care projects.
The Biomedical Catalyst supports ideas for:
- disease prevention and management
- disease detection and diagnosis
- tailored treatments that change a disease or offer potential cures
The Biomedical Catalyst was established in 2012 to achieve three key objectives:
- deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector
- deliver innovative life sciences products and services into healthcare more quickly and effectively
- provide support to academically and commercially led research and development
The programme provides funding to help UK SMEs speed up bringing new products to market and secure onward investment. The programme is run by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council.
To obtain Biomedical Catalyst funding for a project, you will need to carry out all of the project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.
The Biomedical catalyst feasibility competition will be funded at 100 per cent under Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) or De Minimis (for businesses from Northern Ireland). The likely award amount will be between £50,000-£100,000. Innovate UK will be checking applicants’ eligibility at the point of application to the feasibility competition. The below is the MFA criteria and feasibility competition applicants will be required to confirm the financial assistance they have received in the applicable period.
Minimum Financial Assistance requirements - Statement of allowance received: To establish your eligibility, we need to check that our potential support added to the amount you have previously received does not exceed the limit of £315,000 in the ‘applicable period’.
The applicable period is made up of: (a) the elapsed part of the current financial year, and (b) the two financial years immediately preceding the current financial year.
For applicants affected by EC De Minimis regulations, this limit must not exceed 200,000 euros. Applicants will have to confirm that they have not exceeded the MFA in the applicable period as defined above.
Please note that the Accelerating FemTech programme is also considered a subsidy and has been valued at £10,000 and this will also need to be added to the MFA/De Minimis state aid subsidy allowance.
If your application is successful and you are selected to join the Accelerate programme, companies will be provided with two two-day, in-person learning events in London (5 and 6 September 2023) and Leeds (4 and 5 October 2023), as well as a showcase in London in November 2023 (date to be confirmed). These face-to-face modules are compulsory.
We also be holding weekly virtual workshops and meetings with business coaches and mentors, as well as regulatory, market and clinical subject matter experts who provide bespoke support to accelerator companies. The aim of the programme is to provide knowledge around key areas of importance for early-stage FemTech innovations. This includes topics such as regulatory hurdles, commercialisation, NHS structure, investment, legal and communications amongst others.
No, the Accelerator Programme is equity-free and cost-free, utilising Innovate UK funding as part of the Biomedical Catalyst in collaboration with the Medical Research Council. Please note that that the Programme will give benefit to the participating companies, so it is classed as a subsidy. The programme has been valued at £10,000 and will contribute as a subsidy to Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) or De Minimis state aid. Find out more.
The 10-week programme will require you to commit to spend at least two days per week in order to benefit from the programme.
The programme will require physical attendance at the Induction in London (5 and 6 September 2023), Residential in Leeds (4 and 5 October) and the showcase in London in November (date to be confirmed).
Otherwise, during the ten-week Accelerating FemTech: Accelerate programme the two days of your time each week will be primarily virtual. The formal learning, office hours sessions and action learning sets are likely to amount to a day per week, and we will aim to share most of those dates and times by the start of August. The other day will be required for preparation, mentoring sessions, meetings or implementing learning, and will be more flexible.