SBRI Healthcare: NHS Cancer Programme Competition for Early Detection & Diagnosis of Cancer – Innovation Open Call 2

NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced a £15 million funding competition for innovations in the field of cancer.  This competition invites applications for funding to implement solutions in late-stage development into front-line settings to improve early detection and diagnosis of cancer. Interested? Feel free to contact us!


Competition closes: 24 May 2022, 1pm

Applicants notified: October 2022

Project start date & duration: Q4-2022, up to 18 months.


All types of innovations at late stage of development (proven efficacy and clinical effectiveness), including but not limited to, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, digital health solutions, behavioural interventions, software, AI, or new models of care. Innovations can be tumour specific or multi-cancer, with the latter particularly welcome if providing a bigger impact on early diagnosis (stages 1 and 2) rates.

Specific Themes

Potential solutions to the challenge include strategies that support:

  • Identifying and testing asymptomatic patients who are most at risk.
  • Encouraging early symptomatic patients to self-assess and present to primary care or other appropriate services.
  • Assessment of risk in early symptomatic patients presenting to primary care.

Projects that will not be funded

Small molecules therapeutics, drugs, tools only focused on increasing efficiency, innovations that are in the ideation/creation phase, have not yet sought regulatory approval and do not have an evidence base, purchase of a product without plans to generate real world evidence and conduct implementation studies/evaluations, basic research i.e., generation of scientific and technological knowledge, development of research ideas, hypotheses and experimental designs.


  • Single organisations in the UK or EU (including large companies, SMEs, charities, universities, and NHS Foundation Trusts) are eligible to lead the project.
  • All proposals must have a partnership in place with an NHS organisation, if an NHS organisation is not leading the project. Only NHS clinical sites in England are eligible.
  • CE mark or equivalent regulatory approval obtained &/or use in standard routine care by 1 Trust.

Funding Rates

  • Total eligible project costs up to £4million (£15M pot).
  • 100% funding rate.

How PNO can support you

The UK team has a strong track record in securing some of the most competitive national and European grants on behalf of its clients, with a full understanding of how a project should be presented to stand the highest chance of success. Each year in the UK alone, we are responsible for the submission of more than 100 funding applications across all sectors and priority areas. Based on this extensive experience, through careful project selection and using key insight into how a project should be best positioned, we consistently achieve success rates that are more than 5 times the typical success rates for UK national schemes and EU programmes.

Contact us for further information

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