UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has made a commitment to supporting new ways to help people remain independent, active and productive as they age, offering £12m of funding to help encourage and back promising innovations.
The government co-funding is available to commercial investors, social impact investors and charities who can provide equity investment and will jointly-fund investment into smaller businesses developing products, solutions and services which address one or more of the objectives in UKRI’s healthy ageing challenge.
Those seven key areas are:
- Sustaining physical activity
- Maintaining health at work
- Design for age-friendly homes
- Creating healthy, active places
- Supporting social connections
- Living well with cognitive impairment
- Managing common complaints of ageing
The funding forms part of a wider £29m commitment in government grants, alongside aligned funding from private investors, which will be made available over the next four years for individual projects up to £2m.
UKRI’s healthy ageing challenge is supporting the Ageing Society Grand Challenge set by the UK Government, which aims to ensure people can enjoy at least five healthier, more independent years of life by 2035 and narrow the gap between the experiences of the richest and poorest in society.
A total of £13m grant funding has already been allocated through the challenge, alongside private equity from existing partners from the first competition. UKRI is seeking further investor partners to work on the initiative – with interested investors able to contact UKRI here.
With an ageing population, being able to lengthen the time people can remain active, healthy and independent will reduce the strain on many health and care services, allowing the NHS and care providers to focus efforts on those most in need of treatment.
Opportunities for businesses to seek investment from the investor partnerships gathered as part of this scheme will open in Spring/Summer 2021.