Call for submissions: Translational Feasibility Fund

Date: April 4, 2016

£30,000 to identify early stage research translation opportunities in Regenerative Device Development

About this competition

The Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) is partnering with Leeds University Business School to open a medical technologies innovation competition to support early stage translational research

The evaluation of ideas and selection of winners will be carried out through an online process that will allow a large multi-disciplinary panel to compare anonymised proposals.

Three winning applicants will receive funding of up to £10,000 (FEC) from the IKC to enable a feasibility study, or Proof of Scientific Principle project, and will benefit from professional support throughout the study from staff at the IKC.

Upon successful completion of the feasibility study, the winning applicants will have the opportunity to apply for IKC Proof of Concept funding, which is typically around £100,000 (FEC) per project.

It is quick and easy to enter the competition, and may be of particular value to early career researchers who want to gain an insight into research translation projects.


Key Dates

Competition Launch 4 April 2016
Closing date for applications (5.30pm) 31 May 2016
Winners announced 1 July 2016
Projects are expected to start within six months, and this is a condition of the award.


Download the Medical Technologies IKC Translational Feasibility Fund call information –  (opens PDF).


Who can apply?

Applications can be submitted by academic and postdoctoral research staff at UK universities and associated research institutions.

Companies wishing to put forward ideas are encouraged to do so, but they must apply in partnership with a university or research institution where the project will take place as we cannot fund companies directly.

Please seek the approval of your supervisor and Technology Transfer Office in advance of submitting an application.

You may submit more than one application.

What we want to fund

The Centre is looking to fund 3 early stage research projects, at Technology Readiness Levels 1 to 3. In line with RCUK guidelines, the IKC will fund 80% FEC on projects up to £10,000 (FEC).

Projects will aid the fundamental understanding and development of innovation in the following technology areas:

  • Directly implanted regenerative devices, including scaffolds, biomaterials and devices which deliver tissue repair and regeneration; that will follow a medical device regulatory route.
  • Enabling technologies for regenerative device development, including enhanced simulation methods for design, development and pre-clinical evaluation providing evidence of safety and efficacy at the pre-clinical stage.
  • Companion technologies to support regenerative therapies, including aspects of advanced imaging and diagnostics to determine the disease state of the patient and the patient response to treatment.

The studies may prepare the technologies for future Proof of Concept funding, by, for example, investigating or demonstrating the feasibility of a technology concept. In addition to the opportunity to apply for Proof of Concept funding, the winners will also be offered (a) some time from a Technology Innovation Manager in the IKC, and (b) further evaluation and feedback from the panel of around 20 evaluators.

How to apply

Apply now

Please read all details before attempting to complete the online application pro-forma.

All submissions are required to address an unmet challenge that exists within the scope of the IKC.

Once you have submitted an idea via the online pro-forma you will not be able to make amendments. We recommend that you prepare your application in Word and paste across the relevant sections when you are ready to submit your ideas.

Each of the 5 sections on the online application pro-forma are limited to a maximum of 1,000 characters and will follow the format below:

Clinical need (250(min) – 1000(max) characters)

Try to answer these questions:

  • What is the clinical need?
  • How is the need met at present (if it is met)?
  • How is your solution different to current approaches?
  • Why would a clinician choose your solution?

Market size (250(min) – 1000(max) characters)

Try to answer these questions:

  • How large is the market to be addressed by your proposed solution? Think about the potential number of patients per year that could be treated by your solution.
  • What competitor solutions are there?
  • What benefits over competitor solutions does your solution provide?
  • Is your solution likely to be patentable?

The proposed solution/ product concept (250(min) – 1000(max) characters)

Describe your proposed solution/product.

Try to answer these questions:

  • How does it function?
  • What is its unique selling point?
  • Where in development is this solution/product?
  • Is there a prototype?
  • Where are the technical challenges in development?

The team and resources required for the feasibility study (collaboration needs) (250(min) – 1000(max) characters)

Try to answer these questions:

  • Do you currently have the technology, skills, resources and connections to develop your solution?
  • What participants, equipment, samples, raw materials, etc., would be required for your proposed study?
  • Do you have the right team in place with the skills to deliver the work?
  • Would input be required from a biological scientist, mechanical engineer, product designer, clinician, manufacturer or any particular company?
  • Do you have established collaborations and to what extent are they committed?

At this stage it is not necessary that you have identified specific persons to work with as these collaborations can be developed during the refining process and feasibility study.

Work plan (250(min) – 1000(max) characters)

Briefly outline the work plan for the proposed feasibility study including:

  • The work packages
  • Milestones
  • Timescales
  • Deliverables and outcomes.

Apply now

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is an innovative way of finding and developing anonymised ideas through an online process. Anyone can enter their idea (‘the solvers’) for a solution to an identified need.

The ideas will then be assessed by an invited group of ‘evaluators’ from a wide range of backgrounds.

We aim to include clinicians, companies, academics, Technology Innovation Managers, IP professionals, patients, and members of the public within the panel of evaluators.

The evaluation process

The panel of evaluators will rank the ideas, using crowdsourcing software developed by Codigital, until it arrives at three winners.

The successful projects will be announced on 1st July 2016 at the IKC/Regener8 conference.

The successful project ideas will then be submitted for a second phase of evaluation via Codigital software where the evaluators will contribute their thoughts and ideas, and support the refining of the project to ensure the initial idea has clinical application and a strong economic case.

What about my intellectual property (IP)?

In all phases of the process, the IP in the idea will remain solely with the original owner of it.

The evaluation panel will be the only people able to view and comment on the ideas put forward and will be under contractual obligations to keep the ideas confidential and to disclaim IP rights in anything they add.

Further information

For more details, please contact Dr Jenny Spear – Medical Technologies IKC Technology Innovation Manager

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