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What is the Healthier Lives Data Fund?

This fund is a grant funding programme funded and delivered by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation in partnership with the Scottish Government.

What level of grant is available? And what is the timescale for the projects?

Grants of up to £30,000 are available for selected projects in this initial call. Capability building support will be also provided by Nesta and other partners. This support will respond to the individual needs of the funded projects to address identified areas of development.

The projects will commence in April 2019 and end with a demo day in Scotland in December 2019.

A follow-on funding pot of up to £120,000 may be available depending on the success of the initial projects.

Will there be further investments after this fund?

Nesta has an impact investment team who may have an interest in the technologies being developed, however, there is no guarantee that they may invest.

Who are meant to be the beneficiaries of the project?

We use the term citizens as we recognise that benefits may go to people who are unwell, to include reaching people before they are unwell. We also encourage solutions which show potential benefit to families, carers and communities.

What is the application process?

The process will work in four stages; firstly, we strongly recommend you find out more by attending a workshop or webinar; secondly, by submitting an expression of interest form; thirdly, the shortlisted ideas will be invited to a development day in Scotland to meet the Nesta and Scottish Government teams and get feedback and support for their project. Lastly, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

What support will funded projects get?

Projects will benefit from Nesta’s direct support and advice throughout the delivery of the project. They will also benefit from being a part of a cohort of grantees, and will receive structured support through events and other capability building support from Nesta and external partners. The projects will also be supported as needed by the Scottish Government.

What help can you give in finding partners for projects?

Nesta can potentially help shortlisted applicants with finding partners to work with on projects e.g. technology partner, health care partner. Please indicate this in your Expression of Interest. Please note that Nesta is under no obligation to do this.

What help can you give in getting access to data for projects?

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the sources for accessing data, such as open data sets and synthetic data sets.

The Scottish Government can potentially help shortlisted applicants with advice and guidance on data sources and access, and is interested in engaging with companies to improve access to public non-confidential data.

Who can apply?

This fund is open to a range of organisations, including health and social care organisations, private companies, social enterprises and charities in the UK, for projects to be delivered in Scotland. UK organisations can apply with non-UK partners. Please see the expression of interest form question under ‘organisation type’ for a complete list. By private companies we mean company limited by guarantee, SCIO, CIC, industrial and provident society etc.

Can the technology development take place outside of UK?

The organisation applying has to be in the UK, but development can take place outside of the UK with non-UK partners,as long as the delivery takes place in Scotland.

Can we submit more than one EOI?

Organisations are welcome to submit more than one EOI should the project fit with the brief.

When will funding be allocated?

Grant offers will be made in mid-March 2019 and projects are expected to commence in April 2019. Decisions about follow-on funding will be made after demo day in December 2019 with funding expected to be awarded in January 2020.

What date and time will the call for expressions of interest close?

The call for expressions of interest will close on Friday 14 December at 10am.

What can the funds be used for?

The funding can be used on the activities listed below. There will be an opportunity to share details of this on the application form.

  • Technology development
  • Direct project costs
  • Staffing that furthers the aims of the project
  • Evaluation
  • Programme and business development
  • Any other programme expenditure approved by Nesta

At what stage do you expect to fund projects?

It is unlikely that we will fund a project just at idea stage unless there has been significant user and technological research undertaken. Due the fund size, we anticipate the bulk of the innovations will be funded at Minimum Viable Product 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.

We will not support projects whose sole aim is to sell their technology to the Scottish market.

What is the weighting on questions, or scoring criteria for applications?

All questions will be weighted equally. We are keen to see proposed projects meeting one or more of the principles and cross cutting themes as laid out in the call for ideas. We are also interested in hearing about other novel innovations that address the overall theme but do not fall into any of these principles.

What do we mean by digital technology?

We would expect to see a wide range of digital technologies supported in the fund. These include but are not limited to:

  • Mobile apps
  • Interactive web platforms (but not static websites)
  • Immersive Experience technologies including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) applications
  • Chatbots
  • Voice assistant technologies
  • Technologies that include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and augmented analytics
  • Wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and Smart Spaces technologies
  • Blockchain
  • Other novel or innovative technologies.

What is the expectation regarding evidence and evaluation?

Successful applicants will have a clear and accurate sense of what success will look like for their project / innovation, including what impact will be achieved, and how to measure this.

Applicants are encouraged to review the Nesta Standards of Evidence - an approach used to measure the impact of a range of our practical innovation programmes and investments - and consider what stage is feasible for their project within the lifetime of the programme. Due to the stage of development of the projects, it is anticipated that evidence will be at Level 1 or 2.

How will funding be allocated, and will it be based on milestones or payment by results?

Any support awarded by Nesta will be subject to satisfaction of all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, signature of appropriate legal documentation and completion of milestones that are agreed in the grant agreement upfront. More details about this can be found in the Terms and conditions. Nesta may release some funding straightaway and the rest will be paid after the successful completion of milestones over the period of the grant (8 months), and not on payments by results.

Who will own the Intellectual Property created from the project?

Nesta and the Scottish Government are not interested in taking any equity or stake in the intellectual property developed. Applicants will own the intellectual property they create from the project.