Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award has been launched, with £140 million over 3 years, to fund and accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies, that align to the aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The award is being run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


Phase 1: is intended to show the technical and clinical feasibility of the proposed concept, product or service. Awards are for a maximum of £150,000 over a 6-12 month period.

Phase 2: is intended to develop and evaluate prototypes of demonstration units and generate early clinical safety and efficacy data. Award amounts are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-36 months.

Phase 3: is intended to support first real-world testing in health and social care settings to develop further evidence of efficacy and preliminary proof of effectiveness, including evidence for routes to implementation to enable more rapid adoption. Awards are uncapped (any amount can be requested but must be reasonably justified), funding awards are per product, typically for 12-24 months.

Phase 4: is intended to identify medium stage AI technologies that have market authorisation but insufficient evidence to merit large-scale commissioning or deployment. We will support testing and evaluation of these technologies within routine clinical or operational pathways to determine efficacy or accuracy, and clinical and economic impact. Grants are uncapped, funding awards are per technology.


The awards are open, in all Phases, to:

  • SMEs
  • Higher Education Institutions
  • NHS Organisations
  • Charities

Collaborative projects are not essential for Phase 1 but are encouraged. For Phase 2-4, projects must be collaborative. Collaborative partners can be from outside of the UK, if there is reasonable justification and a clear trajectory of NHS benefit.

In addition, for Phases 1-3, the lead applicant must be a UK organisation, however, Phase 4 allows Worldwide organisations to be lead applicants.

How to apply?

Phases 1-3 are delivered in a 2-stage application process. For Stage 1, organisations should submit an expression of interest form, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal at stage 2.

Phase 4 is run in 1 stage – a full proposal is to be submitted for assessment.

Applicants considering submitting a proposal can submit an outline for guidance on remit and eligibility before official submission. This can be done using the pre-submission engagement form.

This is non-mandatory and purely aimed at helping potential applicants to engage with the requirements of the competition.

A number of webinars are being held for applicants throughout February – find full details of the webinar dates here.

Interested in applying for this competition?