With people increasingly living longer, there is growing demand for solutions that can support people in later life. Thanks to a specialist accelerator programme, innovative businesses across the UK are receiving expert support to develop new products and services to help people remain healthy, active and connected as they age.
Providing a free package of tailored support for eligible businesses, the Healthy Ageing Accelerator is being delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice on behalf of the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), working in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). These activities are funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC), delivered by Innovate UK part of UKRI.
The programme provides expert advice to help companies maximise their business growth, including assisting participants to explore the fast-growing China Market. The healthy longevity market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world and the market in China is the largest geographically-defined opportunity.
Delivered through a mix of one-to-one coaching and masterclasses, the Accelerator provides support on many aspects of business growth including raising investment, business strategy and becoming export ready. Participating businesses benefit from nine weeks of fully funded support from experts from Oxford Innovation Advice, NICA and KTN. The first week of the programme requires in person participation at The Catalyst in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Simon Hall, Project Manager, Oxford Innovation Advice – the leading provider of business support programmes for SMEs – said: “We are proud to be supporting businesses to develop their ideas in response to the expanding healthy ageing market. So far, the programme has supported 28 businesses with some exciting propositions and we are now seeking companies to join our next cohort.
“The support is open to businesses from any sector as healthy ageing spans almost every industry. We are looking for companies offering technologies, products or services that help to ensure our towns and cities actively support healthy ageing. These could be related to transport, infrastructure, sensors, digital technologies or artificial intelligence.”
One of the businesses to have already benefited from the programme is Peoplespace in Guildford. Halbyn Rich, CEO of Peoplespace, said: “The Accelerator programme is jam packed with useful actionable content.”
Ben Wilkins, CEO of Good Boost, has also completed the programme. Ben Wilkins explained: “The accelerator helped because it gave us insight and understanding that we couldn’t buy. This was a programme that was full of experts based in the UK and China that gave us the understanding of exactly what we need to do to be successful in the Chinese market.”
Eligible businesses can now apply to be part of the programme’s next cohort in May, which focuses on adaptions to the urban environment. Deadline for applications is 17th April 2023. For more details on the programme and the eligibility criteria, please click here.