New technology fund challenge to support people who are self-isolating

£500,000 of funding is available for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of coronavirus.

The funding will be available to innovators who can find digital ways to support people who need help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Techforce19 challenge aims to support those who need to stay at home for several weeks and need help. This could include people who need mental health support or who have social care needs.

Funding of up to £25,000 per company for companies to test their solutions is available.

The programme is looking for digital solutions that can be launched in the next few weeks, and could include: 

  • remote social care – for example, by locating and matching qualified carers to those in need
  • optimising the volunteer sector – for example, by developing tools to recruit, train and coordinate local volunteers into clinical and non-clinical workers
  • improving mental health support – for example, by making it easier to discover and deliver mental health services and support
  • any other solutions – to ease pressures on services and people during this time.

This technology will supplement existing support for those who may be most affected by staying at home for long periods of time.

The programme is being launched by NHSX and managed by PUBLIC, a GovTech venture firm. PUBLIC will not receive any payment for running this competition. 

For more information on the programme and how to apply, visit techforce19.uk

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

Tech can play an important role in helping the country deal with the challenges created by coronavirus. This competition is focused on the problems created by isolation, which lend themselves to digital solutions. It will allow NHSX to accelerate the development of those solutions, so within weeks they can help those in isolation suffering from loneliness, mental health issues and other problem

Suppliers should note that this competition is aimed at helping in the community, and NHSX is not looking for solutions that are trying to solve clinical problems or require integration with NHS systems.

Detailed guidance for suppliers is available for download here.

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