Back to list page

SBRI Healthcare launches call for cancer innovations

Posted: 1st March 2021

The NHS Cancer Programme is launching an open call for innovation in cancer care on 17 March.

The funding competition of up to £15million, which will be delivered by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the SBRI Healthcare Cancer Programme will swiftly bring new and existing cancer care innovations to the NHS frontline.

The goal is to ensure practical translation of leading research and innovation, directly into cancer care, seeking to directly benefit patients by addressing the challenges of early detection and diagnosis along with the diagnostic efficiency of cancer services. Applications are welcomed for innovative, creative and future proof ideas across medical devices, digital health and equipment, behaviour intervention and new models of care.

This competition will accelerate future innovation in the healthcare sector, focusing on cancer. The call supports the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), which was published in January 2019. It sets out stretching ambitions and commitments to improve cancer outcomes and services in England over the next ten years.

The key ambitions in the NHS LTP for cancer are that by 2028:

  • 55,000 more people each year will survive their cancer for five years or more; and
  • 75% of people with cancer will be diagnosed at an early stage (stage one or two).

An online briefing for the challenge, including the application and assessment process will be held on Thursday, 4 March 2021. Professor Richard Gilbertson (Chair, NHS Cancer Programme Innovation Expert Advisory Group) and Professor Peter Johnson (Clinical Director of the NHS Cancer Programme) will introduce the clinical challenges currently presenting themselves in the cancer world. The Academic Health Science Network and the Cancer Alliances will also provide further insights.

Successful applicants may use this opportunity 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 contracts awarded will be for a maximum of 18 months for up to £5million (incl. VAT), subject to justification.

For further details of the competition, eligibility criteria, and the application and assessment process, please refer to the relevant documents on the competition page.

If you have any questions, please contact

Cancer Programme Challenge Brief
Briefing Webinar