EPSRC Digital Health Hub Pilot Scheme

Closing Date: 19/05/2022

A pilot funding opportunity from the EPSRC to establish digital health hubs.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing funding to establish digital health hubs. Selected hubs should promote knowledge and skills sharing across healthcare, academia and business, and drive innovation in digital health, creating a space for new research ideas and digital technologies to be developed.

The EPSRC has been working with Innovate UK to identify digital health skills requirements for academics and business. This is a pilot opportunity for proposals to create a digital health hub to address these requirements.

The hub will be focused on:

  • Allowing co-creation of solutions with users across healthcare, such as patients, carers and clinicians.
  • Enabling the accelerated translation of digital technologies into the healthcare space and rapid commercialisation of emerging digital technologies.
  • Building new partnerships between industry, healthcare, social care, users of digital technologies and academia.
  • Increasing the sharing of knowledge between industry, healthcare and academia.
  • Providing a mechanism for fostering leadership in digital health and care.

Projects must be a collaboration between academia, the healthcare sector and business. There should be a focus on pre-competitive research. Research at the hub should be mainly novel research in information and communications technology (ICT), mathematical sciences and engineering to develop innovative digital technologies for health.

There must be a focus on the research and development of digital health solutions that address unmet health needs. This may include communicable or chronic diseases, or promoting wellness through prevention to benefit public health.

The hub should create an entrepreneurial environment in which researchers, health and care professionals and businesses can network, build partnerships, and share knowledge and ideas to scope applications, business models and routes to market for new digital health technologies.

Industrial engagement will be an important component of the hub. It will enable access to skilled academics and health professionals to enable faster development of better digital tools for health, and allow companies to co-create research programmes and mitigate some of the risk of undertaking fundamental and early-stage research that could give a company an advantage in the future.

The hub will need to provide a mechanism for building and sharing knowledge and skills between businesses (small and medium-sized enterprises and larger) across academic disciplines, and with the health and care system.

Hubs are also expected to establish and exploit strong connections with patients and the public to ensure that research and solutions are:

  • Easier for the public, and health and care professionals to use.
  • Developed with an understanding of unmet needs and health inequalities.
  • Fit for an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable society.

Hubs should consider collaborations with other training programmes and centres available in the UK which promote knowledge and skills sharing in digital health and provide a mechanism to join up with these.

Funding is available to support hubs for up to three years in this first phase. There will be an evaluation stage halfway through the programme to review options for progressing successful hubs to a second phase.

Funding body Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Maximum value £3,200,000
Reference ID S23611
Category Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical Research

Fund or call Fund