NIHR launches PDA funding call for early-stage medical technologies

As part of its Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme, the NIHR has recently launched the 20th round of its Product Development Awards (PDAs) in order to de-risk early-stage projects with strong potential for commercialisation and acceptance for use in the NHS, making them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.

Research proposals are invited from applicants based within the NHS Trust, a higher education institution or small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME), but proposals must include applicants from at least two of these organisation types.

There is no upper funding limit for PDAs, but costs must be fully justified. Projects can be up to three years in duration.

What can be funded through the PDA

The PDAs funding stream will support:

  • Research and development of medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices as defined by the relevant EU directives, across all areas of existing or emerging healthcare needs.
  • Product or technology development required to enable technology for clinical use, which may include manufacturing, intellectual property protection, freedom to operate and market analysis or business case development.
  • Research and development of techniques or technologies from a different industry sector that could have a potential impact if applied in a healthcare setting.
  • Feasibility studies, if a technology from a sector other than health is being developed.
  • Studies to provide data relating to the safety and effectiveness of a device, including first-in-man and pivotal studies.
  • Health economic analyses and clinical utility studies looking at a device’s real-life implementation and use.
  • Research to support CE mark applications and other regulatory requirements, including any associated safety trials.
  • Activities associated with the adoption of new technology.
  • Training associated with the implementation of new technology.

To learn more about the call, and for guidance on how to submit an application, visit the NIHR website here.