Fresh Ideas Fund

£440,000 to identify key research challenges in Medical Device Manufacturing

At MeDe Innovation we are committed to growing a national research platform in innovative Class III, musculoskeletal medical device manufacturing.  We want to fund new ideas and different approaches to broaden our current portfolio of research – to broaden questions; meet industry demands and satisfy the needs in clinic.

We’ve set up a ‘Fresh Ideas Fund’, to provide small grants to develop short or small projects that identify key challenges in medical device manufacturing (Class III, musculoskeletal).  We’re optimistic that the Fresh Ideas that are funded could lead to larger projects being funded by national and global funding sources.

We can fund up to 9 projects that suitably meet our criteria.

Who can apply?

Applications can only be submitted by academic and postdoctoral research staff at UK universities and associated research institutions. We welcome applications from early career researchers, with an expectation that leadership and supervision of delivery is provided by an identified academic.

Please note: there is no funding available to support directly allocated lead investigator costs.

What we want to fund

The Centre is looking to fund research at Technology Readiness Levels 1 to 3 – early stage, fresh ideas that will aid the fundamental understanding and development of innovation in medical device manufacturing.

Projects that interest us

The proposals should fall within MeDe Innovation’s two Innovation Challenges: Functionally stratified design and manufacture; and Manufacture at the point of need. Details on the Innovation Challenges can be found on our website.

The research in MeDe Innovation is driven by demand.  All submissions are expected to have an identified and committed industry partner and a defined clinical need.  If the research idea is too early-stage for an industry partner to be directly engaged, the market opportunity for the outcomes of the research should be clearly identified.

We want our fresh ideas to grow into big ideas.  After completion of the project, winners are expected to attract significant new industrial and public sector investment that will form a strategic part of the Centre activities.


Awards are limited to a maximum value of £50K at 80% FEC, and projects can be for a maximum duration of 6 months in length.

Short (less than six months) and small (less than £50K in total value) projects are also welcomed.

The total costs should include directly incurred staff to work on the projects and a small budget for consumables.

1)    It is essential that applicants discuss and explore the development of projects with the MeDe Innovation Co-Investigator team to ensure fit and alignment with the focus of the centre, and avoid unnecessary time being spent on projects that are unlikely to be supported.

Fresh Ideas Fund Surgeries allow potential applicants to discuss their ideas in an informal setting. The surgeries form part of MeDe Innovation’s suite of outreach events in September, October and November 2014:

Date Title Venue Further details & register
18 September 2014 Biological & Biomimetic Materials for Medical Devices & Health Technologies Halifax Hall, Sheffield
30 October 2014 In-clinic Manufacture & Minimally Invasive Implantation of Materials Centre for Life, Newcastle
17 November 2014 Functionally Stratified Design and Manufacture of Orthopaedic Devices University of Leeds

Alternatively, Co-Investigators can be reached by email:

Professor Kenny Dalgarno Deputy Director
Dr Ceri Williams Deputy Director
Professor David Grant Co-Investigator
Professor Paul Hatton Co-Investigator
Professor Phil Coates Co-Investigator
All queries to be CC’d to

2)    Complete and submit the application pro-forma.  Please see further instruction for completion within the form.

All submissions will be considered and reviewed by a panel of Centre and independent members (with academic and industry representation), on the basis of:

  • Fit with MeDe Innovation research challenges and interests of the founding academic, industry and clinical partners who co-created MeDe Innovation
  • Potential for development of a larger funded project
  • Evidence of industrial interest and commitment to the Fresh Idea – especially in support for any follow on project.
  • The likelihood of successful delivery
  • Potential for attracting new industrial members to the Centre
  • Track record of the applicants in the proposed area of study.
Call Launch 18th September 2014
Closing date for applications (5.30pm) 19th December 2014
Evaluation of applications by 23rd January 2015
Grants announced and feedback provided 28th January 2015
Projects are expected to start between April and June 2015 and this will be a condition of the award.

To ensure the maximum value from each grant awarded, MeDe Innovation will assign a member of the Centre Academic Team to support in management and delivery of the project; and in dissemination and transfer of knowledge created.

We are committed to ensuring the maximum successful outcomes from each Fresh Idea, and that the Centre provides support to secure new grant funding.

For background information on the Centre and its research challenges, visit the website:

For more details please contact the two Centre Deputy Directors, Dr Ceri Williams (0113 3430922 – or Professor Kenny Dalgarno (0191 222 8554 – 

Applicants are asked to contact their respective Research Innovation Offices in advance of submitting proposals to this call, and to be clear as to their institutional requirements in relation to meeting the deadlines for this call.

Download the Fresh Ideas Fund application form (opens a Word document)

Download the Fresh Ideas Fund call information – as above in printable format (opens a Word document)