Introduction to the Funding Accelerator : Co-design for Health and Wealth

This project builds on a new collaboration between Imagination, FHM, FST, Blackburn College and Blackburn and Darwen Council and is formed around a funding opportunity to place ‘wellbeing sensors’ in 100 homes in Blackburn. The sensor project has its own funding from AHRC and we are looking to use funding from HEIF to energise and extend this emerging collaboration and run an ambitious programme to drive significant new funded activity for economic benefit and other HEIF eligible activities.   

There are 4 key activities.  

  1. The HEIF Accelerator Project will focus building experience of ‘designing in evaluation’ in the sensor project as a way of drawing out insights and evidence to support further work from the match funded activity. The insights and evidence collected in the evaluation (as well as the wider collaborative experience built between the key partners) will be used as a drive for new funding initiatives.  
  1. There will be a monthly series of events to co-design new bids. These will grow from the practical collaboration around the sensor project but also extend more broadly to initiatives within the Blackburn Alliance, e.g. Leading Places. The co-design activities will involve representatives of the 5 core partners identified above with other participants from private, public and university and voluntary sectors invited as appropriate. These workshops will be held alternately in Blackburn and LU and will also include bid-writing visits for EU funding or national scale applications as well as a writing retreat to ensure participants can maximise the benefits of the collaboration. 
  1. The aim of these co-design sessions is to create at least 20 scoping proposals for new bids, each a one page specification of a potential bid, the challenge and partners needed. At least one of the core partners will champion each of these proposals, and we expect to also draw in new partners from across the university and from the private,  public and voluntary sectors. There will be a strong emphasis on  securing Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and other HEBCIS eligible funding.  We will work with the University’s Health Innovation Campus Operational Steering Groups (OSGs), which draw together colleagues from across the University and external partners around particular themes which represent areas of strength and growth at the University. The OSGs most relevant to the proposal include the Digital Health and Healthy Places OSGs.  
  1. These bid specifications will be translated into (at least) 6 distinctly new bids that would not have come into being without the HEIF Accelerator project. We would aim for the total value of bids coming out of the collaboration by the end of 2018 to exceed £8m.    

Key contributors 

LU: Prof. Leon Cruickshank, Prof. Sumi Helal, Dr Mandy Dixon, Nick King, External: Ken Barnsley (Head of Health Intelligence Blackburn Council), John Harrison (head of School Art and Society), Jenna Gardner Head of Design (Blackburn College), Andrew Beechener, CEO Republic of Things 

If you’d like to know more about the project and the work we are creating please contact our Design Manager, Sharon, at s [dot] a [dot] jackson1 [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk