Introducing the Cancer Innovation Challenge

Scotland lags behind much of Europe in outcomes for cancer patients. The Cancer Innovation Challenge has £1M of funding to develop new innovative approaches to using data to deliver better cancer treatment outcomes in Scotland.

Are you interested in how different uses of data can help deliver better cancer outcomes for patients in Scotland? The 2017 Data Summit saw Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, launch the Cancer Innovation Challenge – an £1M innovation programme set up to develop new ways to use data to help both patients and clinicians. I’ve been working on setting up the Challenge for the least year, and I think it’s a great opportunity for data specialists from all areas – and not just health specialists – to get involved to develop new and innovative solutions that deliver better cancer treatment outcomes to patients.

The aim of the Cancer Innovation Challenge is to utilise NHS data to support the delivery of more effective and efficient cancer care. We want to help derive new analytical insights into Scottish cancer data, to inspire local and Scottish start-ups to join in the effort, to demonstrate Scotland’s ability to enable the analysis of complex, large scale NHS data under safe and secure conditions, and to support informed discussion about the creation and use of synthetic data.

A patient’s cancer journey generates a trail of data spanning diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The Cancer Innovation Challenge’s aim is to help NHS Scotland use this data to deliver better cancer outcomes.

The Cancer Innovation Challenge Open Calls

The Challenge fund will have two work streams each developing innovative approaches to using health data: one on PROMS & PREMS (Patient Reported Outcome Measures and Patient Reported Experience Measures) – which will help use data provided by patients about their cancer journey, and one to develop Cancer Data tools using patient/activity/outcome cohort data.

There will be one funding call for each work stream. There will also be a programme of activities supporting each work stream involving industry, the public and stakeholders from across the health sector.

What will the Calls Fund?

Each call will fund up to 5 feasibility studies, and two of those will then receive further funding to develop a proof of concept. Around £325K is available for each funding call to fund the feasibility studies and proof of concepts.

How do I apply?

The PROMS/PREMS funding call is now open: for more details on the call and on April’s information session go to the funding page on the Cancer Challenge web site.

Who’s delivering the Cancer Challenge?

The Challenge is funded by the Scottish Funding Council, and brings together three of the eight Innovation Centres in Scotland: The Data Lab, The Digital Health and Care Institute, and Stratified Medicine Scotland. The Data Lab – based at the University of Edinburgh – is the administrative lead for the programme.

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