National Institute for Health Research Artificial intelligence funding

The Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award (AI award) supports solutions addressing the strategic aims of the NHS Long Term Plan across the whole development pathway, from initial feasibility to clinical implementation. It is funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement and is run in partnership with the Accelerated Access Collaborative and NHSX. Projects funded in the first round were announced in September 2020Competition 2 is now open and will close on 8 December 2020.

The £23m Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions (Multimorbidity) call (AIM) opened on 30th June 2020. This call will support research to spearhead the use of advanced data science and AI methods, combined with existing methodology and expertise in clinical practice, applied health and care research and social science, to systematically identify new clusters of disease and the development of conditions over the life course to develop insights into the identification and subsequent prevention of multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) or MLTC-M.

What do we fund?

Phases 1 and 2 of the award support feasibility, development and clinical evaluation of AI technologies. Phases 3 and 4 of the award support real world testing, initial systems adoption of AI technologies with market authorisation into the NHS, evaluating the AI technology within clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy and clinical and economic impact.

  • Phase 1 is intended to show the technical and clinical feasibility of the proposed concept, product or service. Awards are for a maximum of £150,000 over a 6-12 month period.
  • Phase 2 is intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration units and generate early clinical safety and efficacy data. Award amounts are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-36 months.
  • Phase 3 is intended to support first real-world testing in health and social care settings to develop further evidence of efficacy and preliminary proof of effectiveness, including evidence for routes to implementation to enable more rapid adoption. Awards are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-36 months.
  • Phase 4 is intended to identify medium stage AI technologies that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. We will support testing and evaluation of these technologies within routine clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy, and clinical and economic impact. Grants are uncapped, funding awards are per technology, typically for 12-36 months.

Phases 1-2 aim to create a pipeline of products, interventions and services which are ready for wider testing and will be delivered through the well-established and robust mechanisms underpinning the i4i and SBRI Healthcare programmes, with an indicative budget of £2-7m. This early stage pipeline will be managed by the NIHR Invention for Innovation and SBRI Healthcare Programme Management Office in close collaboration with the AAC Delivery Team.

Through Phases 3 and 4, the AAC Delivery Team will facilitate initial real world testing and systems adoption of the AI technologies into the NHS and/or social care setting.


When is funding available?

Round 2 is now open - applications close on 8 December. See the dates for our funding competitions.


Full details on the NIHR website

Published on: 16 November 2020