Healthy ageing challenge: Designed for ageing

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £14.4M for service-led innovations to support healthy ageing. The aim is to help people age whilst remaining active, productive, independent, and socially connected for longer, whilst narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest. The call emphasises people-centred design and early testing of solutions with end-users. Interested? Feel free to contact us!


Call opens: Monday 20 September 2021

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 17 November 2021, 11am

Invite to interview: 22 December 2021

Interviews: 10 – 14 January 2022

Applicants notified: 28 January 2022


  • deliver clear game-changing service-led innovation with significant impact on ageing positively in the UK
  • help people as they age to remain active, productive, independent, and socially connected
  • conduct industrial research to develop new and applied knowledge leading to a people-centred design, as tested by a mandatory design stage gate review at 6 months into the project
  • derive evidence of user engagement, modifications based on user feedback, user community take-up/acceptance, and scalability/wide interest. Validate business plan and market opportunity
  • reach a solution at high technology and market readiness by close of project

Examples of Specific Themes

Including but not limited to

  • self-care and new care models for independence
  • sustained physical activity beyond 50 years of age, e.g., active travel
  • improved mental health
  • address ‘common complaints’ of ageing, such as incontinence, pain, mobility, hearing, and eyesight


  • excludes clinical trial-focused projects. Projects must be business led
  • project must start by 1st May 2022. Duration 6-24 months. All project work must be in UK. Any non-UK subcontractor needs strong justification.
  • UK SMEs can work alone or collaborate with others (SMEs, academics, or research organisations).
  • total project budget £500k-£2Mn. All research organisations in the consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs.

Funding Rates

For industrial research (TRL 3-5), SMEs can claim up to 70% of total costs. Larger companies get 60-50% depending on size. Universities get 80% of FEC. Other non-profit partners get 100% of their total costs.

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