Find out more about the Healthier Lives Data Fund, how to apply, and the specific types of projects we're looking to support.
The Healthier Lives Data Fund is a partnership between Nesta and the Scottish Government to invest in and support innovative digital technologies that make data available and useful to citizens to help them lead healthier, and more independent, lives.
We are looking for bold and ambitious people-facing projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to empowering Scottish citizens with data and information, and develop and showcase the potential of a new generation of data-driven, people-facing digital technology.
Grants of up to £30,000 over nine months are available. These projects will benefit from Nesta’s direct advice and support, including user-centered design and project delivery, as well as Nesta’s wider network of partners and expertise. The Scottish Government will also provide support, for example on accessing data and information governance. Grantees will also benefit from being part of a Scottish peer group which will help shape how Scotland grows its data economy.
We are taking a broad definition of data for the purposes of the fund to include both numerical and textual information. Data can be from multiple sources, including but not limited to:
We are particularly interested in projects that combine data sources to create new and innovative technologies and user insights.
Citizens interact with health technology in a number of ways, including as patient, consumer and participant. Understanding what citizens care about and what they want from technology isn’t just an optional add-on, it’s necessary to harness the huge potential of technology to transform health in people’s everyday lives.
Here are some guiding principles for the type of projects we are looking for (but this is not an exhaustive list):
Cross-cutting themes that we are also interested in are projects that:
Projects can incorporate more than one of these principles. We are also interesting in hearing about other novel innovations that address the overall theme but do not fall into any of these principles.
We would expect to see a wide range of data-driven, people-facing digital technologies supported in the fund. These include but are not limited to:
To be considered, submitted projects must:
Due the fund size, we anticipate the bulk of the innovations will be funded at Minimum Viable Product / early testing stage. However, we will also consider funding established technologies especially those that aim to repurpose a current solution to be person-centred, support a different patient group or condition, or use different data sets for example.
To be part of the fund we want to work with organisations who demonstrate they:
We are also not able to support ideas that:
As well as demonstrating how projects contribute to the focus areas above, applicants will be assessed on how they meet the following selection criteria:
Problem: does the project address a real citizen health and care need? How big is the scale of the problem in Scotland? How will the technology contribute to solving this problem? Does the application demonstrate a clear understanding, and provide evidence, of what citizens want?
People-facing: does the primary function of the innovation enable people to use data to enable them, or a loved one, to lead a healthier and more independent life everyday? How will the innovation empower citizens and give them agency over their health? How will citizens be involved in the design process of the innovation? (Here is a useful co-production self-reflection tool that might help you see where your project is with regard to user-centred design and co-production.)
Inclusive: how will the project address health inequalities and issues of health literacy? How will the innovation address issues of digital literacy and access to technology?
Innovation and ambition: how novel and compelling is the idea? How could this innovation change the way people manage their health and care?
Impact: does the innovation build on existing evidence and expertise? What impact over the 9 months of the project would the project have on Scotland’s citizens and communities? How would this impact be measured? What is the plan for continuing the impact of the technology beyond the 9 months of the fund?
Scale: is this an idea that can grow and benefit many people (even if the funded project only reaches a small number of people)?
Sustainability: is there a credible route to the initiative becoming financially self-sustaining over time? How strong is the delivery team or partnership?
A panel of experts, including people with lived experience, will review applications to determine which have the greatest potential to deliver the ambition of the fund and provide the strongest evidence against the selection criteria.
Learning about the fund
The fund opens for the submissions of expressions of interest on Wednesday 28 November 2018.
We are hosting briefing workshops in Scotland on the following dates (please book using the links:
We strongly encourage potential applicants to attend one of the workshops or webinar. The workshops will be a chance to hear more about the fund and get some practical tools to develop your idea, meet other projects and potential collaborators, and discuss your idea with the Nesta team and get feedback.
Please also see our FAQs which explain more about the eligibility criteria and the types of projects we are looking for. These will be updated based on questions we receive from potential applicants. We will also upload the slides from the workshops and webinar when available.
We are no longer accepting Expression of Interest submissions.
Based on the ideas submitted, Nesta and the Scottish Government will create a shortlist of ideas with greatest potential by Wednesday 16 January 2019 and invite you to attend a workshop to develop them on Tuesday 22 January 2019. Shortlisted applicants will meet with the Nesta and Scottish Government team to review and work on the ideas together. The aim of this is to create connections between projects and support development of all the shortlisted ideas.
Shortlisted ideas who have joined the development workshop will then be invited to submit full applications by 10am on Monday 25 February 2019. Nesta and the Scottish Government will then make final decisions working with expert external advisors.