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Competition Title: Cancer Innovation Challenge - Innovative data science solutions to improve cancer care and outcomes in Scotland


This Invitation to Tender should be read in conjunction with other information associated with this competition and is only made available to potential applicants after registration of interest to apply.  


Applicants are invited to tender for projects under SBRI to develop technology enabled solutions addressing Innovative data science solutions to improve cancer care and outcomes in Scotland as outlined in the Competition Brief.

SBRI is operating under Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) principles. PCP is the procurement of research and development of new innovative solutions before they are commercially available. PCP involves different suppliers competing through different phases of development, where the risks and benefits related to the intellectual property rights (IPRs) resulting from the research and development (R&D) with suppliers are shared between the procurers and the suppliers under market conditions.


All bids should be made using the Application Form on the online submissions platform Submittable.

All applications will be treated in confidence.

Details of the background, challenges and expected outcomes of the projects can be found in the Call Brief. Guidance for completing the application form is available on the form itself. 

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector, leading to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. It supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of R&D.  It generates new business opportunities for companies, provides businesses with a route to market for their ideas and bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early stage companies.

The competition will have two phases. Phase 1 is intended to show the feasibility of the proposed concept. This phase must include the establishing of any collaborations needed to deliver the proposal not already in place at the point of application and the undertaking of any required information governance approvals. The development contracts placed will be for a maximum of 3 months. A total of up to £175,000 (inclusive of VAT) funding is available and we expect to support up to 5 projects of up to £35,000 (inc VAT) each.  

Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate proof of concepts from the more promising technologies in Phase 1, and it is anticipated that the total funding will be up to £250,000 (inclusive of VAT). At this stage contracts will be let for Phase 1 only, Phase 2 contracts may be awarded to selected Phase 1 Contractors.  Phase 2 is only open to organisations that have completed Phase 1 and are expected to complete an application process for Phase 2 towards the end of Phase 1. Phase 2 will follow a similar selection process.  Applicants should state their goals and outline plan for Phase 2, as an explicit part of the path to full commercial implementation, in their Phase 1 proposal. Phase 2 contracts are expected to be for a duration of up to 6 months.

The Application Form can only be accessed via the Cancer Innovation Challenge’s Submittable site and the other ITT documents may only be accessed after registration to apply. The form should be completed and submitted as directed. We strongly advise that you take note of the guidance provided for each question on the application form.

The competition closes at midnight on Friday 10 November 2017. All entries must be submitted in accordance with the directions on the Submittable platform 


If you have any queries about the application process, please contact info [at] (subject: Cancer%20data%20ITT%20query)



Competition Open: 8 September 2017
Registration of interest: Midnight, 27 October 2017
Applications deadline: Midnight, 10 November 2017
Applicants notified of decision: Estimated mid January 2018
Contracts awarded: January/February 2018
Expected Phase 1 start date: 1 March 2018
Feedback provided by: Expected end February 2018 

Successful applicants will be expected to attend a launch event/stakeholder engagement workshop in Edinburgh on 6 March 2018



Applications will be reviewed by a selected panel of experts and each application will receive at least 5 separate assessments (clinical, data: handling, data: analyst, business development, citizen/patient).

The scores from these assessments will then be moderated at a moderation panel which will then produce a shortlist for recommendation to the Cancer Innovation Challenge Strategic Management Board.  

The Strategic Management Board will make the final award decisions and they may apply a strategic and portfolio approach to the final decision to enable a distribution of projects across the five competition objectives. 

Contracts will be awarded shortly thereafter.  Feedback to unsuccessful applicants will be given after contracts are awarded.

Phase 2 ITT & assessment criteria will be made available to Phase 1 projects during Phase 1. All applicants for Phase 2 will be required to attend an interview with the Cancer Innovation Challenge’s Strategic Management Board in addition to making a formal application for Phase 2.  For Phase 2 assessment they may also take in to account the Phase 1 end-of-phase report.

Gateway Questions (specific criteria that must be met before a bid will be considered)

Is the applicant eligible to apply? YES/NO

Does the proposal meet the scope as detailed in the brief? YES/NO

Assessment Criteria

Score (out of 10)

1. Relevance to brief/scope
How well does the proposed idea/solution/technologies meet the challenge as detailed in the brief?


2. Technical
How valid is the technical approach that will be adopted?


3. Innovation
How innovative is this project? To what extent does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?


4.  Project Management
To what extent does the proposal show a clear plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility and the development of a working prototype?

How does the proposal demonstrate that there is a clear management plan What are the risks (technical, commercial and environmental) to project success? How effectively will these be managed? How appropriate are the milestones and evaluation procedures?


5. Capabilities of applicant
To what extent does the applicant appear to have the right skills, capabilities and experience to deliver the intended benefits?


6. Finance 
How appropriate is the proposal financially? Is the overall budget realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods proposed? Are the costs appropriate and justified?


7. Commercialisation potential
Is there a clear commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service and a clear plan to deliver that and route to market?
How significant is the competitive advantage which this technology affords over existing/alternate technologies that can meet the market needs


Successful applicants will be advised according to the published key dates and companies will be expected to mobilise rapidly to start the project.  It is important that Phase 1 Projects start soon after the contract has been issued (and no later than 1 March 2018) so that all projects can be assessed fairly and move on to Phase 2 concurrently and smoothly.


The Cancer Innovation Challenge is a Scottish Funding Council funded PCP project led by The Data Lab Innovation Centre at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Digital Health and Care Institute Scotland (DHI), Stratified Medicine Scotland (SMS), and NHS National Services Scotland. Partners include the Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme (IHDP), Usher Institute, the NMAHP-RU at University of Stirling and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. Contracts will be awarded by The University of Edinburgh acting in its capacity as The Data Lab (as the lead organisation).

By applying, applicants are consenting to the terms and conditions contained in the contract.  The terms of such contract shall ensure that IPRs generated will be retained by the applicant, although, in line with PCP principles, both the University of Edinburgh and NHS Scotland may retain a non-exclusive royalty-free licence to use the IPRs or the right to acquire license rights to such IPRs at a fair market price.

R&D can cover activities such as solution exploration and design, prototyping, up to the original development of a limited by volume of first products or services in the form of a test series. "Original development of a first product or service may include limited production or supply in order to incorporate the results of field testing and to demonstrate that the product or service is suitable for production or supply in quantity to acceptable quality standards". R&D does not include commercial development activities such as quantity production, supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs, integration, customisation, incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

The sample contract that will be awarded is made available to registered applicants.



Questions and comments are very welcome while the competition is open. Question on the overall SBRI programme should be addressed to support [at] (subject: SBRI%20query%20from%20Cancer%20Innovation%20Challenge%20website)

 or visit the SBRI Framework page. Questions ON THE CHALLENGES AND SCOPE AND APPLICATION PROCESS of this competition should be addressed to info [at] (subject: Cancer%20Data%20ITT%20query)

 or through the Q&A page. Once the competition is closed, no further dialogue will be entered into. In order to streamline the process for this competition, feedback to unsuccessful applicants may not be available until after the contracts have been let.


Application Handling / Submission of Information/ Information Handling

The Competition is operated by the Cancer Innovation Challenge (@ The Data Lab in the University of Edinburgh) and its partners (DHI, SMS, NHS Services Scotland, IHDP, Usher Institute, NMAHP-RU, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland) with the support of Innovate UK and your submitted application, together with any other information you provide at the application stage, will be deemed to be submitted to the Cancer Innovation Challenge on an individual basis for its storage, processing and use.  Also, any relevant information produced during the application process concerning your application may also be shared by the project partners, for its individual storage, processing and use.  This means:

  • that any information given to or generated by The Cancer Innovation Challenge in respect of your application may be passed onto to the project partners listed above and vice versa; and
  • that the Cancer Innovation Challenge is directly responsible to you for its holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information, and will be held in accordance with its Information Management Policy and
  • that is directly responsible to you for its holding and processing of your information, including any personal data and confidential information, and will be held in accordance with its own policies
  • Innovate UK complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and is committed to upholding the data protection principles, and protecting your information. Further details with regards to personal data can be found here.  The Information Commissioner’s Office also has a useful guide, for organisations, which outlines the data protection principles. The link to this guide can be found here.



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