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Since 2007, Innovate UK has invested around £2.5bn to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from industry taking the total value of projects above £4.3bn.

Innovate UK has helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18bn of value to the UK economy. In the period 2019/2020, Innovate UK received 5,794 applications for grant funding and made 949 awards. £645,886 was awarded in terms of grant funding, 24% of the total amount applied for.

Alcuris Limited Industry Sector: Assisted Living for vulnerable and older members of society

Alcuris Limited is a company based in Loughborough that was established with the mission of prolonging the independence of vulnerable and older individuals and providing reassurance to families, carers and Local Authorities and care providers.The company applied to Innovate UK for grant funding for a collaborative R&D project to help improve the lives of patients living with Dementia and support their care-givers.

The innovation surrounded the development of a range of connected products: an aide memoire, the memo hub and an automatic pill dispenser. The Memo platform will enable individuals with dementia to live independently in the familiar and safe environment of their own home. The memo system offers many more benefits including: supporting carers (e.g. allowing a carer to check remotely that the patient has dispensed the correct medicines); relieving anxiety and worry of the carer and patient; and building stronger support networks between carers and healthcare professionals.

Memo will offer an opportunity to monitor the progression of dementia, providing a valuable insight into how best to manage the care an individual needs. The memo system can adapt to the individuals and families’ needs, moving with into a residential care environment if needs be. The application was successful and Alcuris received £194,693 by way of funding.

Dolphin Computer Access Limited Industry Sector: Software design for the visually impaired

Dolphin Computer Access Limited is a company based in Worcester that designs, creates and sells software for people who are blind or have vision and print impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.The company applied to Innovate UK for grant funding to enable them to carry out work to establish proof of concept for the Accessibility Breakthrough for Low-Vision and Elderly Sectors project (ABLES).

The six month project aimed to carry out research into identifying the technology problems that must be resolved before accessibility software can be readily deployed on mobile and consumer devices that addresses vision and print impairments. It was recognised that mainstream computer devices are difficult to use by someone who is not technically proficient and who has accessibility needs and hence, a new generation of accessibility capability was required.

The project had four key objectives. The main objective of the project after the six month research period was the evaluation of the new accessibility enabled, mobile-device hosted application.The application was successful and Dolphin received £99,017 by way of funding.

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