Small and medium-sized businesses can now pitch for a slice of £2.5 million up for grabs to accelerate novel projects addressing unmet medical needs across England.  

In the second Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare competition this year, funds will be available to projects focused on priority areas of brain injury, child/adolescent mental health, diabetic foot ulcers, imaging and outpatient services. 

The competition’s themes were chosen in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks and supporting bodies across the country, having been identified as areas in which there is much scope for addressing healthcare challenges with new technologies.

Successful projects will be fully funded through three phases of development - proof of concept, product development and delivery in the marketplace. Normally they are given a six-month feasibility phase backed by an award of up to £100,000, followed by a phase of more detailed product development and NHS validation, where companies could potentially bag as much as £2 million in support.

The first tranche of funding for 2014, plans for which were unveiled back in May, is destined for projects focused on tackling challenges across child and maternal health, integrated care, medicines adherence, musculoskeletal and telehealth/telecare for people with learning disabilities, with winners expected to be announced any day now.

The current competition closes on December 9, with winners unveiled in March 2015.