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Cash Boost For Innovation - Awards Scheme Launched

Posted: 13th August 2021

A financial awards scheme to promote innovation in cancer care and services and improve patient experience has been launched by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, in partnership with Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network.

Applications are invited for individual grants of between £10k and £70K for innovations which support the objectives of the Cancer Alliance, including:

  • Early diagnosis – 75% of cancers are diagnosed at stage one or two
  • Survival rates – an extra 55,000 patients each year survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis
  • Speeding up the path of innovation to business as usual – spreading proven new techniques and technologies and reducing variation

Successful applications will support one or more of the following specific activities;

  • Clinical decision making
  • Rule in/out tests for cancer
  • ​​Digitally supported triage
  • Workflow management
  • Risk stratification of patients
  • Innovations which support adopt and adapt blueprints
  • Identify, implement and spread proven innovations that have been developed as  a result of the pandemic.

Professor Sean Duffy, WYH Cancer Alliance Clinical Lead said the awards scheme would provide momentum to those innovative approaches devised and tested to deal with the challenges presented by Covid:

“Times have been tough over the past 18 months and there have been many examples where colleagues have been driven to find different ways of delivering care and providing services during the pandemic,” 

“Our aim with this scheme is to encourage them to look at how these new ways of working could bring even further benefits to patients if adopted into mainstream services. We also hope to inspire colleagues through this scheme, and to stimulate the development of other innovations which build on the lessons we have learned.

“We have a good track record of fostering innovation in our region and working with our colleagues at the Academic Health Science Network, and we’re confident of receiving a wide range of high quality applications.”

Helen Hoyland, Programme Lead at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said:

We are very excited to be supporting West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance with its   cancer innovation competition and I’m looking forward to participating in the panel   to review the amazing applications that are sure to come through.

“This competition represents a great opportunity for NHS staff in West Yorkshire and  Harrogate to secure significant funding to help deliver their innovation in the region,   make a difference to patient’s lives and improve cancer survival rates.   

“The AHSN brings a wealth of experience in nurturing and delivering innovation in healthcare and we are committed to helping the spread and adoption of successful innovations in future.”

The awards scheme is open to single organisations, as well as collaborative bids from a team or individuals on behalf of others across multiple footprints – organisational, geographical or by care setting – within West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Eligible to apply are individuals and teams from primary care and also secondary care; voluntary or charitable sector organisations that have a proven track record of working with health and social care providers or commissioners.

A number of specific criteria will be used to shortlist projects, including benefit to patients; sustainability and whether the project can fund itself in the long term; whether it could be applied elsewhere and how the impact of the project will be recorded and measured.

Shortlisted applicants will then be required to deliver a presentation on their project to the assessment panel, which will be chaired by Professor Duffy and will include members of the Cancer Alliance community/patient panel.

Applications for the innovation awards scheme 2021 close   on Sunday 29th August 2021 at 5pm.

For further information, in the first instance, contact the   Cancer Alliance by email –

Click here to download the innovation awards scheme application form. Forms should be returned by email  to

Bursaries are expected to be awarded during September 2021.