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SBRI: Overdose detection, response and intervention – feasibility

Fund Name

SBRI: Overdose detection, response and intervention - feasibility

Project Length

4 months

Project Value




OLS and SHIP are investing up to £5 million inclusive of VAT across the two competitions. Their purpose is to develop disruptive, innovative solutions that focus on detecting, responding to, and intervening in, early acute risk of non-fatal and fatal overdose.

This strand is for feasibility study projects which have not yet reached prototype development. The second strand is SBRI: Overdose detection, response and intervention demonstration.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. The decision to proceed to phase 2 will depend on success in phase 1 and the assessment of a separate application.

This competition aims to speed up and improve the detection of, response to and intervention in potentially fatal overdoses using innovative digital technologies and therapeutic solutions.

Projects can focus on one or more of the following priorities:

  • discrete digital technology solutions with an intuitive and simple design focussed on service users and responders
  • simple alert or responder pathways that create effective responses to potentially fatal overdose events
  • enhance the ability to self-monitor by people who use drugs
  • improved equity of access, detection and response in this vulnerable population through connected and safe digitalised platforms
  • enhanced simple live intelligent data gathering processes, surveillance and remote monitoring
  • enhance innovative intervention therapeutics as antidotes to overdose episodes

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

The potential innovative mechanisms and technologies you can use, include but are not limited to:

  • wearable devices or patches
  • remote monitoring
  • GPS receivers
  • smartphone apps
  • decentralised application environments
  • AI and machine learning
  • virtual reality and augmented reality
  • gamification
  • data analytics
  • therapeutics

You must:

  • provide details of certification and compliance with relevant standards, accreditation and regulatory approval for well-developed prototypes
  • detail how you will work with a test bed research partner to develop your solution and work towards product approval across UK health systems
  • set out a plan to work towards necessary approval in all the UK health systems
  • demonstrate a credible and practical route to market, so your application must include a plan to commercialise your results including plans to achieve regulatory compliance where required

At this stage, contracts will be given for phase 1 only.

You must define your goals in your application and outline your plan for phase 2.

In phase 2 Innovate UK will ask successful applicants from phase 1 to deliver a prototype of their solution and demonstrate it in a real-world environment.

Innovate UK encourage proposals that bring together sector specialists and include a co-design and co-production element with the expertise of people:

  • with lived experience
  • who use drugs and their families

Specific themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • detection of potential overdose episodes
  • alert or response to potential overdose episodes
  • intervention therapeutics as antidotes to overdose episodes

Phase 1: technical feasibility studies

This means planned research or critical investigation to gain new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services.

In phase 1 of your project, you will work closely with the stakeholders to demonstrate the technical feasibility of your proposed innovation and formalise any required ethical approvals, data-sharing agreements and contracts.

Phase 2: prototype development and evaluation

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of the solution in environments representative of real-life operating conditions.

The outcome of a potential phase 2 will be a demonstration of the prototype in a representative environment.

At this stage, contracts will only be given to successful applicants from phase 1. Progression to a potential phase 2 is dependent on the outcomes from phase 1.


Projects must:

  • aim to start by 1 August 2023
  • end 4 months after the agreed start date
  • work in conjunction with a test bed research partner by delivering R&D services to develop a solution
  • acquire evidence which will support future product approval and use of the innovations across the UK health systems (Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England)

As part of your application, you must engage with a suitable research and innovation partner to serve as a ‘test bed’. The test bed research partner is required to develop your proposed solution, gain relevant clinical and non-clinical advice and determine the extent of required work within the test bed.

Suitable test bed research partners could include the NHS Scotland Regional Test Beds, or equivalents located in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, for example:

  • National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR infrastructure)
  • Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs)
  • Life Sciences Hub Wales
  • Drug and Alcohol Research Network (DARN)

You can also propose any other suitable UK-based alternative.

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size, registered in the UK, European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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