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Introducing the iTPA 50K Impact Fund

November 2021: First call is open now! Deadline: Apply before Friday 10th December 2021

Our first call for expressions of interest has opened and selection is now underway. Applications will be reviewed as and when they are received – so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible!

Make a difference with the Wellcome iTPA 50K Impact Fund

The £50,000 Impact Fund has been introduced to the iTPA funding pathway to support impact-driven projects with a fundamental objective to deliver human health benefits.

Open now, this is a unique opportunity to work in partnership with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) for a year to nurture your translational research and transform it into real societal impact and health benefits.

Sometimes research projects with the greatest potential for improving human health and wellbeing face additional challenges – perhaps they don’t fit the standard commercialisation pathways for translating University research, typically through investor funded spin-out companies or licensing to industry. Acknowledging that not all research is motivated by profit and wealth generation, and that this can create barriers to impact, the Impact fund has been designed to provide financial support and EiR assistance for those projects that need additional expert support to develop their funding pathway to deliver their full health and societal impact potential.

Up to £50,000 of funding will be provided in combination with a full day per week of dedicated EiR support over the course of a year – offering partnership, direction and expertise to develop a translational plan with you, help identify and apply for additional funding, and ultimately drive your project forward. This is a new level of expert management support that we hope will form a collaborative unit between you, the EiR and project team that will develop your translational route, strategic networks and funding strategy at speed, fast-tracking your project to deliver global impact at scale.

Who is the Impact Fund for?

We’re looking for projects that can demonstrate clear potential for impact that EiR support and funding will accelerate. The Impact Fund is for ambitious researchers who want to work in partnership with an EiR to see their (health related) research turn into real-world societal impact. You will have already recognised that the pathway to societal impact is challenging and acknowledge the need to form a team around your own expertise to drive the project forward. The health benefit from your project can be global or local in how it delivers a benefit to society, improves the health of people or enhances quality of life.

This support package is open to all researchers with proposals that have a strong potential to impact human health. We suspect that these will be projects that have previously had funding, and currently face some barriers to translation. However, we have no ring-fenced criteria on how that health impact is delivered, so please get in contact and discuss your project with the iTPA Team.

Below are some examples of what might fall under this criteria, though this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Medical or other health related technologies or devices designed for developing economies settings, cost-effectiveness, use in challenging settings, neglected diseases, etc
  • Technologies or care pathways that would have an impact and alleviate pressures on the NHS or other health systems
  • Technologies that improve the production of food

We recognise that not all of our world class researchers at the University of Edinburgh aspire to be the next Elon Musk! But, if you are steadfast in your ambition to influence human health globally, or an aspiring and purpose-driven researcher with an entrepreneurial mindset, this is a unique opportunity to secure financial and expert support to help to develop the translational route into the world and make a real health impact.

What does the selection process look like?

Register your interest below to receive an expression of interest form to your inbox. This brief synopsis of your research should be completed and returned to the team. You will then be invited to a video call with an EiR to discuss the project opportunity further, and the team will carry out diligence on your opportunity to assess its potential for impact.

When completing the expression of interest, think of the applicability of your research to the world.

  • What is the opportunity that you see for this project? How can this be quantified?
  • What is its potential impact on global health and wellbeing? Is it health outcomes? Is it financial burdens to health systems?
  • What challenges are you facing? How could the iTPA funding support you?

Together, we’ll help you figure this out – and if you are successful, work in collaboration with you over the course of the year to develop a clear pathway to addressing the unmet need in a unique and impactful way with substantial funding to help accelerate the project. We’re keen to hear from you and will endeavour to provide valuable feedback on your opportunity to everyone who gets in contact regardless of the outcome.

If you’d like to make a difference with the 50k Impact Fund please register your interest below and we’ll be in touch soon.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST