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HIC Fund Programme

Driving Medical Research & Creating Healthcare Solutions Through Effective Collaboration

HIC Fund Programme

The Health Innovation Challenge Fund (HIC Fund) is a scheme supported in equal measure by the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust.

Essential requirements:

All proposals submitted to the Health Innovation Challenge Fund must satisfy the following criteria:

Projects must have already demonstrated ‘proof-of-principle’ supported by experimental and, where feasible, in vivo data. Evidence from the applicant’s team must clearly illustrate the technical feasibility of the project and demonstrate the potential for development from its current state to a final product. Early stage research or discovery science is not fundable.

Proposals must include first testing in man during the concluding stages of the project and must have the potential to benefit patients within the following 3-5 years, having demonstrated efficacy and received regulatory approvals.

Applications must articulate a plan to progress the technology or intervention to the stage at which it is sufficiently, validated, de-risked or developed to be attractive to:

  • Commercial organisations (e.g. venture capital funds and corporate bodies) for follow-on development and completing the path to market;
  • Not-for-profit organisations (e.g. the National Institute of Health Research) that can offer expertise and resources to assist with the evaluation and development of products;
  • Healthcare providers (e.g. the NHS), if the product is ready for procurement and adoption.

Proposals must set out a commercial strategy that takes into account the regulatory pathway, IP management, commercial barriers, health economics and routes to market.

Proposals must present a plan for the adoption of the technology into the NHS and other healthcare systems, whilst addressing the requirements of patients and health professionals.

Projects must offer solutions that can be:

  • Seamlessly integrated with the current hardware and software infrastructures, care pathways and resources currently deployed within the NHS and by other healthcare providers;
  • Scaled up from local to national level and not, for example, reliant on specialised centres or expertise which can hinder widespread adoption.

Project teams must contain strong clinical representation and be clinically driven.