Social ventures invited to apply for healthy ageing product funding

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A competition to support social enterprises in developing products and services that tackle some of the impacts of ageing has been launched.

Funded by UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Healthy Ageing Challenge, the competition provides full funding of up to £150,000 for individual successful projects as a share of an overall £4 million. Projects will need to be run by social entrepreneurs with the potential to scale up and will need to tackle one or more of:

  • the common complaints of ageing, such as impaired hearing, eyesight, mobility and supporting mental and physical well-being
  • sustaining physical activity for over 50’s
  • living well with cognitive impairment
  • maintaining health at work
  • designing for age-friendly homes
  • supporting social connections
  • creating healthy and active places.

Developing innovations

Past winners of similar competitions are developing innovations such as:

  • wearable tech that tracks muscle degeneration
  • matching volunteers to demand
  • self-assessment tools for people experiencing muscle or joint pain
  • helping older people find work.

But this is the first time UKRI has run a competition only open to social ventures.

George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge director at UKRI, said:

Social enterprises can play an important part in addressing inequalities in healthy longevity yet recent research has highlighted the difficulties they face in raising funds to grow. That’s why the Healthy Ageing Challenge will provide £4 million funding through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

The funding is designed to help reduce inequalities in healthy ageing by adding an impact approach alongside the conventional investment partnerships. The funds will support existing social enterprises with an ambition to expand their products and services that support people to age well.

Top image: Credit: monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

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