Biomedical Catalyst supports the development of innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes. These can include:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier or better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures


The primer award supports a technical evaluation of your idea through to proof of concept in a model system, and can include:

  • experimental evaluation (at laboratory scale)
  • initial demonstration using in vitro and in vivo models (but not human clinical trials such as safety or efficacy)
  • exploring potential production mechanisms
  • early-stage prototyping
  • product development planning
  • intellectual property protection

Innovate UK support projects from any sector or discipline, including (but not limited to):

  • stratified healthcare (both therapeutic and diagnostic components)
  • advanced therapies (gene and cell therapies)
  • diagnostics
  • digital health
  • medical technologies and devices


An SME business can:

  • take part in up to 3 applications in this competition round, although you can only be the lead partner in one application in this round
  • lead only one active project in any one Biomedical Catalyst award at any time

You are able to apply for a second project to be funded e.g. you may already hold both an early stage and a late stage award. When the early stage project finishes, you may apply in this round for a late stage award to continue that specific programme of work while still holding your original late stage award.

You will be asked to provide evidence that you have enough resources to run 2 projects at the same time.

If you have research organisations in your consortium, they can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs.

Large organisations are unable to be partners on any project in this competition.

Funding Costs

Innovate UK expect projects to range in size from £200,000 to £1.5 million (total project costs).

Projects should last 12 to 24 months and must start by 1 April 2019.


Projects will not be funded that cover:

  • Human trials
  • Projects that are too early stage
  • Projects that are too close to market, already at market