SBRI Healthcare has launched its latest competition in which up to 12 small businesses could each benefit from £100,000 of product development funding.

The initiative is looking to award a total of £1.1 million for healthcare innovations that address challenges in the high need areas of 'Managing patient flow in acute care' and 'Self-care and independence for children with long-term conditions'.

Philippa Hedley-Takhar, Head of Investment and Partnerships for Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network noted that, "with 6 percent of children in the UK living with disability, there is a high need for innovations that address their health and care needs, so they can live life to the full".

With regard to managing patient flow in acute care, Anna King, Commercial Director of Health Innovation Network, said innovations that can help improve efficiencies through better use of resources, reduced wastage and delays, and improved processes "will save money for the NHS but, crucially, will improve the experience and outcomes for patients."

Companies successful in the six-month Phase 1 feasibility stage will be eligible to apply for a further award of up to £1 million in Phase 2 to fund more detailed product development. Phase 3 contracts are intended to accelerate product adoption, with up to a further £1 million over 12 months, providing the opportunity for validation in NHS settings.

The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative that works with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to identify priority areas where technology can be applied to address major clinical challenges. In the last year, 11 new clinically-led competitions were launched and £19.5 million was handed out to 67 companies to develop products focused on specific NHS unmet need.