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NHS England announces third round of funding competition for cancer innovations

26 January 2024

NHS England has announced round three of its funding competition for innovation in the early diagnosis of cancer.

Applications are invited for innovations or new approaches that will detect cancers earlier and increase the proportion diagnosed at stage one or two.

Based on the Rapid Cancer Registration Dataset, the proportion of cancers diagnosed at an early stage has started to improve for the first time in a decade. However, there is recognition that this improvement needs to accelerate.

The third in a series of competitions, to date over £24.5m has been funded through the NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Calls across 14 projects, impacting 30,000 patients so far.

The competition aims to fast-track high-quality, proven, late-stage innovations into front-line settings and address implementation evidence gaps.

Successful applicants may use the call to gather evidence required by commissioners and regulators to make purchasing or recommendation decisions for future business. There will also be the opportunity to enable rapid national deployment/uptake of the product.

The NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Call is open to all types of innovation, including but not limited to, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, digital health solutions, behavioural interventions, software, artificial intelligence, and new models of care.

The call is developed and led by the NHS Cancer Programme and supported by SBRI Healthcare and the Accelerated Access Collaborative. The support of Cancer Alliances plays a key role in enabling spread and adoption. The competition supports the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) that by 2028, 75% of people will be diagnosed earlier, at stage one or two, and an extra 55,000 people will survive cancer for five years or more.

Innovations will be 100% funded up to the total value of £4M (excluding VAT) over a maximum of 24 months.

Applications open on Monday 8 April 2024 and close on Wednesday 29 May 2024, 1pm.

An online briefing will be held on Tuesday 6 February 2024, 3pm-5pm Sign up for 6 Feb here, and an online innovation matchmaking event on Tuesday 12 March 2024, 2pm- 5pm Sign up for 12 March here.

For further details of the competition, eligibility criteria, and the application and assessment process, please refer to the relevant documents on the NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Open Call 3 page.

Key Dates:

Online launch event: Tuesday 6 February 2024, 3pm-5pm

Online innovation matchmaking event: Tuesday 12 March 2024, 2pm-5pm

Workshop: Thursday 4 April 2024, 10am-12pm

Application Opens: Monday 8 April 2024

Q&A: Thursday 18 April 2024, 11am-12.30pm

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 29 May 2024, 1pm

Assessment: May/June 2024

Peer review (if shortlisted): July/September 2024

Interview Panel(s): Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 October 2024

Contracts awarded: October/November 2024


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