Competition offers physios £100,000 for bright ideas to benefit MSK patients

Physiotherapists can enter an NHS-backed business competition that is seeking ideas for products and services to help people with musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders.


The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) healthcare competition is offering winners up to £100,000 each to fund the development of their proposals.

NHS England launched the competition in partnership with the country’s 15 academic health science networks.

Physiotherapist Amanda Buttery, programme manager for the Eastern academic health science network, told Frontline: ‘Physiotherapists are frequently at the forefront of innovative musculoskeletal technologies and products.

‘This exciting national funding opportunity recognises that more pioneering ideas and inventions are needed for osteoarthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions for ageing populations.

‘SBRI healthcare has a track record of co-developing over 200 innovations. This this opportunity can help professionals to take their concepts, designs and inventions to the next level.’

The competition is open to individuals or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities. Applications must focus on one of three categories, which are

  • self-care and preventative interventions
  • efficiencies in delivering care
  • scaling up the use of regenerative medicine

Two phases of funding

The competition will run in to two phases. During the first stage, the judges will examine the technical feasibility of the concepts. Successful applicants will then receive funding contracts worth up to £100,000 for a maximum of six months.

In the second phase, applicants will be eligible to receive further funding contracts to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units.

Whatever their ideas may be, all applicants will retain the intellectual property rights for their project.

Applications close at midday on 22 August.

Author: Robert Millett

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