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NIHR i4i Invention for Innovation – Dementia Call

Fund Name

Invention for Innovation - Dementia Call

Project Length

Up to 60 months

Project Value

Up to £2m



The i4i competition is seeking applications for a dementia-specific funding call aimed at the research and development of digital approaches for the early detection, diagnosis and stratification of individuals with dementia.

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Fund Details

The competition will support proposals covering any of the following aims:

  • the large-scale pragmatic validation of digital biomarkers for dementia (DBDs);
  • the development of DBDs into advanced diagnostic or prognostic prototypes or products;
  • clinical evaluations toward near market-ready solutions

The priorities below present identified unmet needs and form the scope of the i4i Dementia funding call.

  • Prediction, early detection and diagnosis of dementia: There are still significant gaps in the evidence that validates the quality and utility of digital biomarkers as reliable indicators of early stage dementia or to rule out the condition. The lack of evidence is especially observed in large-scale studies of digital biomarkers in real world settings (for example, homes, primary care, and in the community), resulting in suboptimal evidence to meet the validity, reliability, sensitivity and robustness standards required by regulators. Additionally, further considerations are needed for which combinations of digital biomarkers are most informative of an individual’s health status, and those most amenable to long term patient use and engagement.
  • Stratification of people at risk of developing dementia or the subtyping and prognosis of dementia patients: Technologies that can determine the subtype and stage of dementia will be of significant prognostic value and help to inform the choice of intervention. Patients are often referred back to primary care without further support or intervention and are reliant on symptomatic disease or declining cognition to be referred back to the clinic. There is a need at this stage to stratify those at higher risk of developing dementia, so that they can be monitored more closely and prioritised for further investigation without the need for newly manifesting symptoms.


  • The lead organisation must be based in England, and should be best placed among the project parties, to lead the research, and either own or have full access to the background IP.
  • The lead organisation and collaborating organisations can be either SMEs, NHS service providers, primary care providers, higher education institutions, not-for-profit organisations.
  • Collaborations may be sought across the UK, as deemed appropriate.
  • Project entry point is at least 1 DBD with proof-of-concept and a technical approach (for example, using statistical, machine learning, deep learning or other data engineering methods) that can be used to interrogate the DBD’s clinical relevance.

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