Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator
Improving quality of life through innovation
5 months + support thereafter to apply for grants
The Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator is an R&D-focused programme that supports pre-revenue and early-stage companies* developing products or services with applications that support people to live healthier lives. The programme is accessed via a competitive application process and provides the accepted cohort with a range of valuable support to help them to get their innovation closer to market, gain new customers (if at market) and/or enter new markets.
Based in Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), participants are supported to build a project team alongside our academics and carry out a bespoke R&D project to help the participating company overcome a technical challenge. We are fortunate to have access to world-class R&D facilities to carry out design and rapid prototyping, through to precision engineering of prototype components.
The centre also houses a range of laboratories for technology validation, and a clinical research floor with hosted NHS services covering areas such as cancer, weight management, MSK and stroke for demonstrations with target population. Beyond these we utilise our regional and national links to deliver pilots in community and workplace settings where more appropriate.
Beyond the R&D offer, the AWRC also leverages its ecosystem of supportive individuals and organisations to help startup founders to grow their networks; improve their knowledge; forge new collaborations; and help to secure private investment through investment readiness support and public investment through grant assessments with feedback from our innovation funding managers.
The programme is intended to help build new relationships and following the defined accelerator programme, the programme team will work with the alumni to develop collaborative grant funding applications - decided on a case by case basis following our assessment of the fit to the specific call criteria. Successes here have ranged from £50k Innovate UK fast grants, through to £1million+ UKRI Design for Ageing awards.
*will also consider small, more established SMEs, academics close to spinning out a company, and social enterprises are welcome to apply too.
Funding & Benefits
Up to £25k of R&D support (non-dilutive)
Support to develop a collaborative R&D project brief with the University for internal funding consideration and/or submission for external funding (all participants).
For projects selected to be funded internally, up to £25,000 of direct R&D support which covers our academic’s time; access to facilities; equipment and related consumables (numbers selected driven by actual project cost to deliver vs overall programme budget).
Over 25 workshops and events on topics such as medical device regulations; NHS procurement; and writing successful grant applications (all participants).
Review of a previous grant application with our funding manager (all participants).
Support to develop a collaborative grant application with the AWRC (based on specific suitability to the funding call).
An in-depth NHS market assessment undertaken on your behalf by a healthcare consultancy (x1 participant)
Introductions to our mentor network, from leading industry figures across investment, academia, healthcare, and industry (founders through to C-suite) (all participants).
Comprehensive pitch deck development and investment readiness support with materials and 1:1 coaching provided (all participants).
Event and profile raising through our in-person demo day and virtual networking opportunities (all participants).
Access to partner products and services including;
AWS credits (all participants)
Capitol Pilot ‘investability’ ratings pre and post programme (all participants).
SeedLegals plus package (all participants)
Free local hot desk access in commercial space on the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park during the programme (all participants)
ORCHA baseline assessments (up to x4 participants)
A travel stipend for the demo day in Sheffield, UK (depending on an individual founders travel costs).
Number of Alumni Startups
Total Funding Raised by Startups
£11million+ (that has been reported to us)