The UK's Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £3.7m (about $5.5 million) in projects that use innovative photonics technologies in business-led partnerships between academia, industry and health care providers to solve health challenges.
The investment was announced last week by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.
The project aims to overcome challenges clinicians and others in the health care industry have in understanding the potential of next-generation photonic technologies, the TSB said, by bringing together multidisciplinary teams to develop new photonics applications.
The funding will be run as a two-part process, with the first being a single-stage competition for feasibility studies and the second a two-stage competition for collaborative research and development projects. Applicants for both stages need to include at least one small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as part of their team. The TSB will allocate £1.5m (about $2.2 million) for the first stage, with individual awards totaling as much as $150,000.
Projects funded in the second stage will last between 12 and 24 months and will receive individual awards of up to $1.1 million of the $3.2 million total.
“The involvement of clinical and industrial end-users in both the feasibility studies and R&D stages of the competition will help ensure not just that the NHS and clinicians fully understand the potential of next generation photonic technologies, but that they can bring their expertise to bear in the development of a range of new tools for less invasive diagnosis and surgery,” said TSB Chief Executive Iain Gray.
To apply for the project, registration is first required. Information can be found at www.innovateuk.org