“The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme supports the preclinical and clinical development of medical devices in areas of existing or emerging patient need.“
Clare Denyer, Project Manager

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme supports the preclinical and clinical development of medical devices in areas of existing or emerging patient need.

The aim of the i4i programme is to de-risk early stage projects that have a strong potential for commercialisation and acceptance for use in the NHS, making them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.

i4i funds collaborative research projects that have demonstrated proof-of-principle and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation. The expected i4i output is an advanced or clinically validated prototype medical device, technology or intervention.

The NIHR i4i programme is now accepting applications from researchers and organisations based in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, in addition to applications from England.

Product Development Awards

i4i Product Development Awards (PDA) support innovations at any stage of the translational research and development pathway, including the clinical development of laboratory-validated technologies or interventions.

This funding stream is researcher-led and does not specify topics for research.

Research proposals must include applicants from two organisation types: an NHS Trust, higher education institution or small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME).

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

Product Development Awards have two funding opportunities a year. See the dates for our funding competitions.

Applications should be submitted through the Research Management System (RMS). Please see our applicant guidance for Stage 1 and Stage 2, and download our Stage 1 Standard Application Form Template. For further information on scope and eligibility, please see the i4i Supporting information.

What is funded

The Product Development Awards 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 a 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 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.
Apply now