If your company is seeking engagement and traction within London’s digital health ecosystem, taking part in the Accelerator programme can support you with opportunities to connect with NHS stakeholders, industry investors, patients, and other healthtech innovators.

Below we have compiled a list of questions  with answers, to help you decide if this is the right programme for your company, and to support you during the application process.


What support does the Accelerator offer?

Companies accepted onto the programme will have the opportunity to take part in workshops and training, “meet the expert” sessions, one to one clinics, and other events and learning opportunities hosted and delivered by the Accelerator and its clinical, topical, and business experts.

Each company is also assigned a ‘Navigator’: an experienced professional from the NHS with the expertise to understand their needs and share expertise and advice on products in development, NHS navigation, and business models.

Support focuses on areas specific to individual companies’ needs, with a focus on engagement with different elements of the health and care system. Support may include:

  • Engagement with clinicians and healthcare experts
  • Refining products to meet NHS need
  • Deepening understanding of the health system
  • Showcasing innovations in health facilities
  • Developing business models to progress product development
  • Market access and navigation



What stage of development do companies have to be to apply?

We consider applications from companies at all stages of the innovation cycle, although the application form will consider whether companies can demonstrate the product and the key developments needed to bring it to market.

Our emphasis in considering companies’ suitability focuses on three areas:

  • Credibility of business model.
  • NHS need, and potential to help provide appropriate solutions.
  • Potential to benefit from the programme.




Is my company eligible to take part in the Accelerator?


Companies must demonstrate their commitment to London and ability to build relationships within the city. To support this, they must supply evidence that they have a registered, trading, or office address in London; or evidence that the process to register for one is underway.

Companies must also demonstrate compliance with the EU definition of “SME” at the time of embarking on the programme http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en. If you are not sure whether or not you meet the criteria, we will be able to make a judgment based on your responses to questions in the form.

Businesses must be registered with Companies House to join the Accelerator. Unfortunately we cannot accept sole-traders.



What is the application process?

The application process consists of two stages:

  1. Online Application: We will use an online application portal to filter applications according to business credibility, fit with NHS priorities and the extent to which we believe the programme will make a positive impact on your business. You will need to register on our online application platform and can then save and return to your application at any point until the deadline. The application form is easy to complete: it includes questions about your company and the digital health products you have in development. If you are successful at this stage you will be invited to a panel interview.
  2. Panel Interviews: Applicants successful in the online application stage will be invited to interviews with a panel of experts from across the healthcare, commercial and technology sectors.


What criteria is used to assess companies' applications to the Accelerator?

Companies initially apply using an online portal, and are shortlisted against specific criteria by at least four professionals with expertise in digital health. The top scoring companies at this stage are offered an interview.

At the interview stage, companies are interviewed by a panel of five (on average) experts from varied backgrounds, including digital, clinical, and decision-making. Experts are matched where possible to interview companies that fall in their area of expertise or need, and score each on specific criteria.

Applicants are ranked on their scores, and the top companies are offered a place on the Accelerator, subject to due diligence checks.

At both the online stage and at interview, applications are scored for their suitability for participation in the Accelerator in three areas:

  • Credibility of business model.
  • NHS need, and potential to help provide appropriate solutions.
  • Potential to benefit from the programme.



What is the difference between DigitalHealth.London Accelerator and the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA)?

The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator and the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) are both designed to increase innovation uptake in the NHS. The two programmes complement one another.

However, there are some key differences in the support each offers:

  • DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator works solely with digital health innovators, whereas the NIA works with health innovators of any type
  • DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator considers applications from companies at any phase of the innovation cycle, whereas the NIA works with innovations that are ready to scale
  • DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator works with companies whose focus is on London’s NHS, whereas the NIA works to scale innovations nationally
  • DigitalHealth.London’s Accelerator focuses on companies, whereas the NIA focuses on individuals




Does the Accelerator provide funding?

The Accelerator can connect companies to relevant funding opportunities, but does not provide direct funding.



How does participation affect compliance with state aid rules?

The benefits offered through one of the Digital Health Accelerators classify as assistance under the European Commission’s De Minimis Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013) on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid; Official Journal L 352/1 of 24.12.2013). This allows an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 worth of assistance over any three year fiscal period (i.e. fiscal years used by the undertaking in the UK). The amount of de minimis aid that your company will receive through the accelerator is estimated to be worth the equivalent of £45,000. You will receive a State Aid certificate at the end of your involvement with the accelerator programme, confirming how much de minimis aid you received. More information can be found here.

Does the Accelerator take equity or invest in companies?




How is the Accelerator funded?

The Accelerator is a partnership between London’s three AHSNs (Health Innovation Network, Imperial College Health Partners, UCLPartners), MedCity, CW+, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. It is supported by the Mayor of London; and is part-funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.

The Accelerator is receiving £1.7 million of funding from the 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.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding