The UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange, a funding competition for UK and Canadian businesses, has launched to support companies with innovations that address key healthy ageing needs.

The UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange will be offering funding to eight companies from the UK and up to five from Canada to take part in an in-person international exchange visit. In addition, up to 25 other companies from each country will be invited to join virtual programmes designed to help define and develop their value proposition.

Businesses that win a spot on the programme will be supported by both UK and Canadian experts, who have in-depth knowledge of the healthy ageing innovation ecosystem within each country. These experts will be drawn from healthcare providers, academia and industry.

Dr Mandy Dixon, head of corporate engagement and healthy ageing programme lead at the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), said: “The UK Canada AgeTech Innovation Exchange programme brings together leading experts to support companies that are developing innovations that can improve the health and well-being of older people for generations to come.

“As an exemplary life sciences cluster, the Northern Health Science Alliance’s healthy ageing network worked with partners from across the North of England, the UK and Canada to form a consortium that will facilitate transformative solutions to support an ageing population.”

The focus is on innovative solutions that are already in-market or are ready to be tested/validated in a real-world setting, and that have a perceived or potential significant impact on a healthcare priority.

The priorities for the funding competition are: ageing at home; health care and health service delivery; cognitive and mental health; and autonomy and independence.

Companies have until February 3 2023 to apply for the Innovation Exchange, and winners will be announced in March.

The programme is funded by Innovate UK. Partners from the UK include: Department for International Trade; Health Innovation Manchester; Yorkshire and Humber AHSN; Innovation Agency (North West Coast AHSN); AHSN for the North East and North Cumbria. Canadian partners include AGE-WELL and CABHI.

Dr. Allison Sekuler, president and chief scientist at CABHI, said: “The UK Canada AgeTech Exchange is a terrific example of how countries working together can do more for everyone.

“CABHI is thrilled to partner on this important initiative, supporting the development, spread, and scale of innovative UK and Canadian companies through our unique programming, services, and platforms.”

One of the partners, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN regularly runs its own digital health accelerator programme, Propel@YH, offering a six-month course of structure support and advice to help accelerate company growth and market presence.