New NIHR funding scheme ‘i4i FAST’ (Funding At the Speed of Translation)

Wednesday 16 March 2022

The i4i FAST (Funding At the Speed of Translation) Awards have been designed to provide rapid small scale funding (£15-£50k, 3-6 months) for a single piece of activity or to fill a specific evidence gap across all technology readiness levels.

The scheme is designed to allow innovators to access small agile funding with quick turnaround for funding decisions via a single stage application process, and decisions to fund will be made within 6 to 8 weeks.

This could provide pivotal support by allowing innovations to be de-risked, further explored to justify further research and investment or to fail fast if simply not viable. Research themes can address any area of existing or emerging clinical unmet need.

Examples of questions that can be addressed through FAST are the following (please note the list is not exhaustive) and must be within the broader i4i remit:

  • To develop a code, algorithm, or programme, hiring relevant staff where needed.
  • To conduct user acceptance testing on a proof-of-concept diagnostic device.
  • To seek patient feedback on whether an innovative approach would be acceptable.
  • To develop a regulatory plan to seek approval for a technology in a health area.
  • To understand the routes for reimbursement and procurement of a health technology in a bespoke setting.
  • To conduct market research and develop a pricing strategy, and determine whether a proposed innovation could be cost-effective.
  • To validate a sterilisation method or protocol.

i4i FAST is a rolling call and there is no submission deadline. Applications can be submitted from 13:00 on 04 April 2022. The call can close at any time subject to budget and evaluation requirements.