UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge seeks to address issues associated with ageing

Posted: 09 August 2021, in News

Come to our funding webinar this week to find out more.

One in 12 people in the UK are over 75. By 2040, this will rise to one in seven. A third of children born now are expected to live to 100. On average, people aged 65 will live just half of the rest of their life without disability.

The Healthy Ageing Challenge launched in 2019 as one of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s ageing society challenges. The aim was to support innovation in technologies and services for an ageing population, and improved therapies and treatments to keep them healthy in later life.

UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge is investing up to £98 million across its 7 core themes, which range from sustaining physical activity to managing cognitive impairment and the common complaints of ageing.

We want everyone to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across generations for as long as possible and to narrow the gap between the experiences of the richest and poorest. To that end the challenge seeks to help businesses, including social enterprises, to create products and services to help people as they age, and deliver them at scale.

The Challenge is delivering several initiatives including the Trailblazers, run by diverse organisations. The 5 projects include a new type of community to support people with dementia and a project that will create local ‘tribes’ of small providers of adult social care where there are gaps. Investor Partnerships where are working with commercial investors such as Northstar, Nesta and 24 Haymarket to encourage investment in ageing products and services and the social, behavioral and design research programme.

We are also excited to announce two further funding opportunities, including the Designed for Ageing competition, which opens in September and is aimed at service-led organisations addressing the issues around sustaining physical activity, independent living and managing the common complaints of ageing. The projects should have a person-centered design approach and they must have potential to be shaped for market readiness by a series of design stage gates.

On the 19 July the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) led competition to support social ventures opened. Seeking to address the barriers that social ventures face in accessing funding, this will give small and medium sized social enterprises the opportunity to apply for 1 of 2 streams of funding. Stream 1 is aimed at smaller feasibility projects and stream 2 is aimed at larger industrial research projects.

Applications will be submitted via the innovation funding service website, see here, and here.

For further information please email:

Dr. Helen Crampin, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)