Second Call for Transformative Healthcare Technologies – Pre-announcement and engagement event

EPSRC, in collaboration with MRC, will shortly be inviting proposals for adventurous (high risk, high gain) projects as part of the second phase of the Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050 call, otherwise referred to as the Transformative Healthcare Technologies 2.0 call. This call will target projects that that are guided by a longer-term vision to pursue new, “high risk high reward” ideas and develop thinking and approaches supported by the next generation of underpinning science, engineering and emerging technologies in the healthcare space. We seek and encourage adventurous ideas, new thinking and collaborations that have the potential to significantly improve healthcare delivery by 2050.

Key dates

Call opening: Early-September 2020

Outline proposal deadline: Early-November 2020

Outline proposal decision: Mid-December

Full proposal deadline: Early-March 2021

Aim and scope of the call

This Transformative Healthcare Technologies call aims to bring together the ‘Healthcare’ community through adventurous and novel multi-disciplinary/interdisciplinary research and innovation drawing on novel Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and ICT to deliver technologies that will impact and transform healthcare by the year 2050. We are encouraging multidisciplinary teams to apply, including co-collaboration with healthcare professionals, social scientists, patients, and users. Normal eligibility rules apply to who can receive funding.

Through this call, EPSRC intends to fund ambitious collaborative projects that are truly adventurous and transformative, with concerted approaches toward the development of innovative solutions to any area of healthcare that will result in a step change in health and well-being.

All proposals must have sufficient novel engineering and physical sciences content to fall within the remit for EPSRC.

We are particularly keen to help realise the potential of the following:

  • Research that merges robotics and biological systems;
  • Pre-symptomatic diagnosis and continuous health monitoring;
  • Future affordable and inclusive healthcare solutions
  • Technologies to improve healthcare treatment
  • Repurposing technologies originally developed for other fields for potential healthcare impact

Applicant’s attention is also drawn to the EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Grand Challenges:

  • Developing Future Therapies
  • Frontiers of Physical Intervention
  • Optimising Treatment
  • Transforming Community Health and Care

We encourage researchers to start discussing possible projects with prospective partners. The call will require that the lead investigator is a UK academic. Collaborations with external partners and industry, nationally and internationally, are encouraged and the usual EPSRC rules and expectation (which can be found here) applies. 

Application and funding process

The application process for this call will be in two stages: an outline proposal stage followed by a full proposal invitation. Only proposals successful passing the outline stage will be invited to submit full proposals.

The funding mechanism will also operate in two phases, a development and a delivery phase. The first “development” phase will identify projects that demonstrate readiness in order to deliver the research programme in the second “delivery” phase. EPSRC is looking to fund 4-6 substantial programmes of research at the second phase.

Engagement event and registering interest

An engagement event, for briefing and community networking, will be held virtually on 16 September 2020. We invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) for attending the engagement event from relevant stakeholders involved in project design, research delivery and impact. These stakeholders could include, but are not limited to, researchers, clinicians, clinical scientists, research focused allied health professionals, population researchers, psychologists, patient acceptance researchers, policy researchers etc. Prior to the engagement event, we will find ways to draw attention to transformative ideas and do our best to nurture and support them.

Please note that attendance to this event is not mandatory and not a prerequisite for submitting to the call.

EPSRC will use the EOI form to select the mode for registering ideas prior to the engagement event and attendees of the event. This is to ensure a balanced group of participants and a diverse representation of organisations and expertise.

The purpose of the engagement event will be to provide:

  • Information on the scope of the call;
  • Information on the types of projects that EPSRC are looking for;
  • Opportunity to ask questions about the call;
  • Opportunity to network and form new collaborations.

Deadline for submission of EOI is 16:00 on Thursday 30 July 2020.  Confirmation on event attendance will be communicated to the applicants the week commencing Monday 10 August 2020. Full details of the virtual set-up and an agenda will be made available to the participants soon after. The expression of interest form can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note that parts of the engagement event may be recorded. Any recordings will only be used internally within EPSRC. Presentations and FAQs from the event will also be published online on the call page.

Timetable

Full guidance on eligibility, closing dates, how to apply to the call and assessment criteria will be published on the EPSRC website in September 2020.

A provisional timetable is shown below:

  • Call published: September 2020
  • Engagement event: September 2020
  • Intention to submit deadline: October 2020
  • Outline proposal deadline: November 2020
  • Outline proposal decision: December 2020
  • Full proposal deadline: March 2021
  • Panel assessment: June 2021
  • Award start date: August 2021

These dates may change in the full call document.

Further information

Enquiries about this announcement can be sent to Michael Onoja or the Healthcare Team.  However, please note we will not be able to provide additional information about the call in advance of its publication.

Please disseminate this pre-call announcement to your networks and contacts as appropriate.