New funding opportunities June

May 28, 2021

We try to make this as relevant to you as possible so please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you feel should be included.

Covid-19 Specific Funding:

New Future Fund To Support Innovative UK Businesses Deadline: Open
This is a Future Fund to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment.

Expression of interest: emergency route for time-critical Covid-19 research Deadline: Open
Apply for funding to support short-term time-sensitive collection of data or samples or rapid turn-around research or analysis to either: a) inform urgent policy or national decision making, b) secure data for future research use. This is a rarely awarded emergency route for exceptional circumstances.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome & Mastercard Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator  Deadline: Open
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard have committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to the Covid-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments. The partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings. The Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with Covid-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Currently there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens, and none approved for use on Covid-19.

Covid-19 – Other International Funding (and more) read KTN round-up 
Covid-19 – Support for Businesses – for the latest information on UK Govt support available.

Other Featured Funding:

Zinc Venture Builder 2021 Deadline: 25 June 2021
The Zinc Venture Builder programme is a full time, 12 month programme that exists to build brand new companies that tackle the biggest social challenges in the developed world. The 2021 challenge is “to ensure that every child and young person can develop and maintain good mental and emotional health”.

Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund Deadline: 30 June 2021
New £20 million fund to grow UK life sciences manufacturing opens for applications.

Biomedical catalyst 2021: early and late stage awards Deadline: 26 August 2021
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £18 million to develop innovative healthcare products, technologies, and processes. The aim of this early and late-stage competition is to enable businesses to create a data package that can support the further development of their products.

Digital technologies for health and care Deadline: 21 July 2021
Develop research ideas for novel digital technologies to monitor, diagnose and treat the population remotely. You can be from any research area and must be eligible for EPSRC research grant funding. The first stage of the process is a ‘sandpit’ event. In this three-day online event you will work with other researchers to develop ideas for proposals.

MedTech NAVIGATOR Innovation Grants Deadline: rolling grant
The MedTech NAVIGATOR Innovation Grants are designed to facilitate such bespoke interactions between SMEs and eligible Knowledge Providers, such as an NHS Trust, or a University, during the product development process. Each Innovation Grant (up to £7,500) is worth 50% of the total project costs up to a maximum of £15,000.  Your business must pay the remaining 50% and any project costs over and above the £15,000 cap.

Merck 2021 Research Grants Deadline: 31 August 2021
The Merck research grants programme is open to scientists in all career stages who are affiliated with any research-based institution, university or company. Applicants submit their application for the focus topics containing non-confidential information only. You may apply for more than one grant or submit your application for more than one focus topic. If your application is successful, you are invited to submit a full proposal under confidentiality and join a deep-dive workshop with the other finalists. All applicants will be informed about the decision of the selection committee at the beginning of October.

Wellcome Discovery Awards Deadline: November 2021
This scheme provides funding for established researchers and teams/co-applicants (which can include commercial businesses) from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

Other Funding Opportunities: 

Innovate UK:

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

For more information on all open IUK funding opportunities

Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council: 

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.

Click here for BBSRC funding opportunities

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA):

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
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.
Click here for more information on DASA funding opportunities

The National Institute for Health Research

The nation’s largest funder of health and care research, providing the people, facilities and technology for research to thrive.

NIHR i4i Product Development Award – Competition 22 Deadline: Stage 1 – 9 June 2021
i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support translational research and development of medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and high-impact patient-focused digital health technologies for ultimate NHS use. The research proposals may address any disease or health area, provided there is a clear unmet clinical need. There is no upper funding limit for Product Development Awards, but costs must be fully justified.

NIHR i4i Challenge Award – Competition 12 Deadline: Stage 1 – 10 June 2021
i4i Challenge Awards support market-ready innovations by addressing the translational gap between the clinical evaluation of technologies and their adoption, by funding the assessment of MedTech innovations in real-world healthcare settings. The expected output is a disruptive medical device or in vitro diagnostic test that can offer improved outcomes for NHS patients. There is no upper funding limit for the Challenge Awards, but costs must be fully justified.

NIHR i4i Connect – Competition 5 Deadline: Stage 1 – 14 September 2021
i4i Connect is aimed at small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and Tier 3a 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.

Click here for NIHR funding opportunities

Medical Research Council (MRC)

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.

MRC molecular and cellular medicine programme grant. Deadline: 1 September 2021
Funding is available from MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board to provide large, long-term and renewable programme funding for researchers working in the area of molecular and cellular medicine.

Pre-announcement: experimental medicine grants Deadline: 9 September 2021
Apply for funding to investigate the causes, progression and treatment of human disease. Your project must include an experimental intervention or challenge in humans, focus on addressing mechanistic questions and be academically led.

MRC population and systems medicine programme grant Deadline: 22 September 2021
Funding is available from MRC’s Population and Systems Medicine Board to provide large, long-term and renewable programme funding for researchers working in the area of population and systems medicine.

MRC population and systems medicine research grant. Deadline: 22 September 2021
An MRC research grant is the main way for UK-based medical researchers to apply for researcher-led project funding. You should apply if your research is on population and systems medicine.

MRC neurosciences and mental health research grant Deadline: 29 September 2021
An MRC research grant is the main way for UK-based medical researchers to apply for researcher-led project funding. You should apply if your research is on neurosciences and mental health.

MRC infections and immunity programme grant Deadline: 8 September 2021
Funding is available from MRC’s Infections and Immunity Board to provide large, long-term and renewable programme funding for researchers working in the area of infections and immunity.

Click here for  MRC funding opportunities

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Research into inclusive ageing Deadline: June 2021
Apply for research into inclusive ageing. Your project must include a principal investigator based at an eligible research organisation. Your project must be interdisciplinary and focus on both: social and economic inequalities that affect people in later life and practical ways to improve inclusivity in later life.
Your project must address how earlier life experiences affect inequalities in later life.

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.

Click here for ESRC funding opportunities

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC):

The EPSRC is the main funding body for engineering and physical research sciences. For EPSRC funding opportunities.

Healthcare technologies investigator-led grant Deadline: Open
Healthcare technologies investigator-led research grants are for researchers at UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies. The funder strongly encourage collaboration with relevant healthcare professionals, other researchers, industry, the public sector and other relevant partners. Your application should be in line with the grand challenges of our healthcare technologies theme, e.g., developing future therapies with technologies that enhance efficacy, minimise costs and reduce risks to patients; frontiers of physical intervention, restoring physical function and optimising surgery and other physical interventions with high precision and minimal invasiveness; optimising treatment through effective diagnosis, patient-specific prediction and evidence-based intervention; or transforming community health and care by using real-time information to support patients managing their own health and wellbeing and to allow healthcare professionals to make timely interventions.

Click here for EPSRC funding opportunities


The Health Foundation

Click here for more Health Foundation funding opportunities

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. Click here to access their database

Other UK Government, Seed Funds and 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.  


The Global Challenges Research Fund
The Newton Fund
European Funding
Grants available to UK through US Defense – medical research programExport Opportunities – To access the Department of International Trades Export Opportunities Pipeline

Funding Opportunities News: 

Horizon Europe update: It has been agreed in principle that UK organisations can apply
KTN: Latest Health and Life Sciences Funding Round-Up
UKRI: Funding opportunities