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Innovators – your country needs you

The government launches a new fund for innovators in health and social care

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And never have we needed more inventive – or innovative – solutions to a national crisis in recent years than we do now.

Due to the social distancing and self-isolation measures imposed to protect public health, many ill, elderly, vulnerable people will be stuck at home, and unable to access traditional forms of support. The government has therefore announced £500,000 of funding for innovators who can find digital ways to help these people during the coronavirus outbreak.

TechForce19 – a force for good

The challenge – dubbed TechForce19 – calls on companies to create community-based solutions to mental and physical health. This could be providing remote social care (finding carers, delivering care, providing care technology); optimising staffing and volunteers (recruiting and training workers, projecting future demand on resources, tackling data gaps to understand the needs of care businesses); or improving mental health (delivering mental health services, facilitating access to peer to peer communities, promoting self-management of mental health needs).

After initial application and interview stages, funding of up to £25k will be given to innovators based on four factors: solution feasibility; company credibility; impact; and digital maturity.

No time to waste

The clear factor in all of this is time. Our communities need a rapid response to what is an unprecedented state of affairs, and is already impacting people in a host of different ways.

Thankfully, we have reason to put faith in the proven track record of our digital businesses. The UK is a hub for innovation: over 45,000 tech startups launched here in 2019, and our Disruption50 Index highlights the work of several companies already delivering impressive wellbeing and healthcare solutions.

Do you know how we could set up and manage a network of volunteers? Use technology to help care for people in their homes? Create a solution to employee wellbeing?

Innovators, we need you now more than ever.

For more information and to apply, visit techforce19.uk.