New initiative offers boost for health innovators

A new health tech accelerator aims to support small businesses and enterprises in the fight against the aging process.

The UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has selected three investment partners as part of a programme to promote new healthy aging solutions. Barclays Ventures, Legal and General and Northstar Ventures will all take part in the Healthy Aging Investment Accelerator, a five-year initiative to support smaller tech companies who are working to combat health issues related to the aging process.

Longevity.Technology: The Government is a great believer in the role technology can play in improving healthcare in the UK. However, many innovative companies lack the scale to bring real innovation to market. This challenge aims to inject the required capital to help some of the most promising businesses bring their innovations to market.

Working in partnership with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), L&G, Barclays and Northstar will distribute grants to small and medium sized enterprises as well as social enterprises which are delivering innovative health tech solutions. The three funders will top-up the grant with their own capital, with the potential for further investment when the businesses start to show positive improvement [1].

L&G intends to invest the capital in up to six businesses which are producing innovative solutions to reduce health issues and the cost of care related to the aging process. Over a five-year period, they aim to commit a total £24 million.

“We are seeing abundant opportunities emerge in ‘age-tech’ as businesses rise to the challenge of helping people live longer, happier and healthier lives – a mission we fully support.”

Legal and General has a healthy track record of investing alongside the UKRI in opportunities across prop tech, clean tech, fintech and health tech. So far it has invested £22bn directly into UK businesses assisting them to scale up. It also recently acquired a minority shareholding in Current Health, an AI powered remote patient tracking platform which is helping to monitor and manage Covid 19 patients in their own home to boost hospital capacity.

Barclays and Northstar Ventures will also be supporting early stage companies specialising in healthtech whose objectives align with the Healthy Aging Challenge. UKRI will match investments from the three funds with a non-payable grant to successful businesses. This, the organisation says, represents direct public money going into growing high-tech businesses which are working to improve health outcomes in the UK [2].

The call is currently out for businesses or social enterprises working in the health tech sector with the official launch date of 11th June.