Research Innovation Enterprise

ISCF Healthy Ageing: Trailblazer Funding Now Open

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Healthy Ageing Challenge asks industry and researchers to develop products and services to help people remain independent, productive, active and socially connected for longer. It is a substantial societal issue that requires genuine and innovative collaborations across the UK.


The number of people over 75 in the UK today is one in 12. By 2040, it will rise to one in 7. We’re also living for longer and a third of children born now are expected to live to 100. This presents a challenge to health services, but it is also an opportunity for businesses and researchers who can help people to stay active and productive as they age. The healthy ageing challenge will support UK government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge to ensure people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experiences of the richest and poorest.

Healthy Ageing Challenge Aim

A refreshed vision was recently developed for the Healthy Ageing Challenge on the back of an extensive market engagement. The new focus is as follows and will guide all upcoming work and projects:

‘To enable businesses, including social enterprises, to develop and deliver products, services and business models that will be adopted at scale which support people as they age. This will allow people to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected across generations for as long as possible.’

Funding will be released to realise this vision through Trailblazer Large-Scale Projects, an Investment Accelerator and Research.

What is the Healthy Ageing Trailblazer Competition?

The Trailblazers Competition is now live and underway to deliver on the refined objectives of the challenge. The aim of the Trailblazers funding is to encourage businesses and public sector led collaborations, including social enterprises, to develop and demonstrate how products, services and business models which support people as they age will be adopted at scale.

There are two competition stages:

Stage One: You can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to conduct research and develop a business plan. For stage 1 of the competition you can apply as a single applicant. Stage 2 proposals must be collaborative.

Stage Two: This is the delivery stage, they will invest up to £38 million. This is to develop and implement the products, services or business models, with individual eligible project costs up to £6 million. You need to be funded in Stage One to progress to Stage Two.

The deadline for applications is the 27 November 2019.

Trailblazer Seven Key Themes:

They will fund a portfolio of projects across themes drawn from the Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework and thus projects will be spread across multiple areas. Please note, however, that they have a specific interest in projects that cover one or more of the first three of these seven themes:

1. Sustaining physical activity (key priority)

2. Maintaining health at work (key priority)

3. Designing for age-friendly homes (key priority)

4. Managing common complaints of ageing

5. Living well with cognitive impairment

6. Supporting social connections

7. Creating healthy and active places

Next Steps:

If you are keen to discuss further, please get in touch with Georgina Jamieson, Knowledge Exchange Manager, RIO:

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