Pilot procurement scheme for small business technology development targets infections

07 Oct 2008

The new Small Business Research Initiative opens its Health pilot competition, targeted at early stage businesses with technologies to tackle healthcare associated infections

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will procure, on behalf of the Department of Health, up to £750,000 of development work per project, supporting development and testing prior to commercial procurement

The pilot competition of the reformed Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) in the Department of Health is now open and will provide an opportunity to develop innovative technologies to address healthcare associated infections.

The new SBRI, which forms part of the Invention for Innovation programme supported by the National Institute for Healthcare Research, is a phased procurement programme, intended to deliver leading-edge technologies and products to meet the future needs of Government and its agencies ahead of commercial procurement.  The programme will support technology developments through the critical stages of demonstration and trial.  SBRI competitions are particularly targeted at early-stage, high-technology businesses.  Developments are 100% funded and focused on specific identified needs, increasing the chance of exploitation.

Suppliers for each project will be selected by an open competition process and retain the intellectual property generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the Department of Health.  This is an excellent opportunity to establish an early customer for a new technology and to fund its development.

The specific topics for this competition are:

  • Hand Hygiene. We are looking for technologies for improving hand hygiene effectiveness, compliance or both, in hospital wards.
  • Pathogen detection in the hospital environment.  We are looking for a test for product residue that gives rapid results to facilitate immediate corrective action, yet is simple enough to be performed on the ward without the need for recourse to a laboratory. 

Sally Davies, Director-General of Research and Development in the Department of Health said: "This is another step forward in our many-faceted programme to tackle healthcare associated infections - SBRI provides an opportunity to develop some highly innovative solutions for the NHS and we look forward to the results."

The Technology Strategy Board's Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said:  "SBRI addresses one of the most difficult stages of innovation - the development and testing of a new technology.  A reformed SBRI will provide a programme that delivers both a vital support for early-stage businesses and a stream of innovations that deliver value for money in the public sector. This pilot is an important step and an excellent opportunity and we are very pleased to be working on it with the Department of Health."

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Last updated on Thursday 09 October 2008 at 13:41

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