Innovation in Healthy Ageing Devon

What is the aim?

The Innovation in Healthy Ageing project is a collaborative project partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund with additional financial support from Devon County Council, the South West Academic Health Science Network, West Devon Business Information Point, and the University of Plymouth with the aim to improve healthy ageing in Devon.

This programme has been designed to use key challenges and opportunities around the impact of ageing populations, changing lifestyle choices and the rise in chronic conditions, as a catalyst for innovation and growth by investing in the following sectors:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Technology
  • Medical Bio-Technology
  • Healthcare Services.

How will we do it?

Small to medium enterprise’s (SME’s) and social enterprises will be supported to provide innovative solutions to the challenges affecting how people age in Devon including Plymouth and Torbay. 

These ideas could be for new technology, applications for existing technology, services, models or processes. 

The programme will provide an opportunity to work collaboratively and apply for funding to develop ideas. 

How will it work?

The project will run until June 2020 and is accessible by eligible organisations located in Devon including Plymouth and Torbay. 

A Challenge Event will be held in March 2018 to bring together all stakeholders interested in the project and identify the key challenges around providing care for an ageing population. This will be closely followed by a ‘hackathon’ type event on Friday 23 March 2018 where stakeholders will be encouraged to collaborate and innovate around how to address these key challenges. 

Following these events, collaborative groups with an appointed lead from businesses and social enterprises will identify potential ideas for new technology, new uses for existing technology and innovative operating models or services.

Collaborative Groups whose innovations have the most potential will be offered the following support to work up their ideas:

Student Placements, Up to 15 students will be available to work with these groups. This will be funded by the project itself.

If you are interested in hosting a student, please contact Dr John Tredinnick-Rowe for further details.

Challenge Fund, Collaborative groups will have the opportunity to bid into a challenge fund. Groups will need to provide 40% of the total expenditure they are bidding for.

Practical and Specialist Health Innovation Support, Collaborative groups will be able to receive practical and specialist health innovation support. A minimum of 12 hours support will be provided during the programme lifetime.

N.B. Collaborative Groups will be able to take up the most suitable combination of the three support activities offered; based upon their project idea. Collaborative Groups will also need to appoint a project lead. The project lead will be the organisation who applies for funding.

Who is involved?

  • Devon County Council (Programme Lead)
  • South West Academic Health Science Network
  • West Devon Business Information Point
  • University of Plymouth.

How can I take part?

To be eligible for the programme your organisation should:

  • Be classed as a small/medium sized enterprise; employing fewer than 250 people, or a legally constituted social enterprise.
  • Have an annual turnover of less than €50m (approx. £42m).
  • Have a balance sheet value of less than €43m (approx £36m).
  • Be less than 25% owned by another company or combination of companies.
  • Have received less than €200,000 of public funding in the last three years. 


We have two public events in March 2018 to help SMEs, students, patients, academics and other stakeholders engage with this project. 

On 1 March 2018, we will meet to identify the issues for Devon in terms of healthy ageing. 

On 23 March 2018, we are holding a student and SME focused event where as a group we will identify solutions to these problems. This event will form the basis for SMEs to submit an expression of interest in the project. 

Tickets for both events can be booked using the following links:

1 March 2018: Innovation in Healthy Ageing Challenges - Event 1: Choosing the Challenges

Collumpton Community Centre, Pye Corner, Cullompton EX15 1JX 

23 March 2018Innovation in Healthy Ageing Challenges – Event 2: Solution Event

Rolle C605, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

We look forward to seeing you there. 

We are looking for students to undertake placements

We are looking for students from engineering, art and design, life sciences and health professions to take up placements with Devon-based companies to help develop these new products or services. In short, you will be helping companies pilot new products and be part of the innovation process. 

This might take many different forms, from engineering and computing students helping with the coding Apps, or art and design students helping with the marketing and design features of products, or clinical students such as nurses helping the companies understand patients, and how healthcare is delivered. 

You will get paid for your placement, and the companies themselves have access to a £450,000 Challenge Fund to help develop the ideas you will be working on.

If you an undergraduate or postgraduate student at the University of Plymouth and are interested, please get in touch and we will work with you to find you a placement. 

Further information, FAQs and contact details

The Innovation in Healthy Ageing project is receiving up to £657,714 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014–2020. 
The department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. 
Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.