Delivering innovation in the ‘healthy ageing’ market

Polestar is working with a number of businesses providing products and services aimed at a growing demographic – which we will all hopefully join – the aged.  So, it is interesting to see UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) aiming to support the sector.  

UKRI is looking for UK registered equity investors to partner with them in the Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator.

This competition aims to deliver innovation in the ‘healthy ageing’ market as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Healthy Ageing Challenge.

Find out more about the Healthy Ageing Challenge

£12 million for healthy ageing innovation

Working in partnership with investors, Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will distribute a share of up to £12 million in grants to micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises.

The competition will stimulate private investment in business-led research and development, to grow and bring to market ideas for healthy ageing products and services that have potential to be adopted on a wide scale.

Phase 1

In this first phase of the competition, they are recruiting investors to participate. To be selected, you must:

  • be a UK registered equity investor
  • commit to identifying a portfolio of healthy ageing technology micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises you are willing to invest in
  • demonstrate you have, or can raise on demand, enough capital to equal Innovate UK’s grant and provide the additional follow-on funding

Investors can apply for £1 million to £6 million.

If you are selected as investor partners, you will work to:

  • identify innovative SMEs working in healthy ageing technology that are suitable for investment but outside your typical risk preference, which might involve changing your target market
  • help those SMEs deliver a healthy ageing project, with 50% of the total eligible project costs grant funded and the remaining 50% from equity investment into the business

Phase 2

In phase 2, their chosen investors will put forward SMEs for funding, by invitation only.

All funded projects will need to show how they tackle one or more of the following essential challenges of older life:

  • sustaining physical activity
  • maintaining health at work
  • design for age-friendly homes
  • creating healthy, active places
  • supporting social connections
  • living well with cognitive impairment
  • managing common complaints of ageing

UKRI expects funded SME projects will have total eligible project costs of between £100,000 and £1.5 million.

Key dates

The competition opens on 19 August. There will be a briefing for potential investors on 10 September. The closing date for investor applications is 6 November 2019 at midday.

Investors can take part in an investment accelerator to co-fund innovation in healthy ageing products, services and business models

By Charles Whelan on 21/08/2019